On Thursday, December 7, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) proudly delivered the final Plan of Action for Regional Transit (PART) at a milestone event hosted in Chicago. The celebration was the culmination of 10 months of rigorous work and included a wide variety of regional leaders who came together to develop the plan. A news release is available, as well photos from the event.
Transit agencies in northeastern Illinois face a fiscal cliff, with an expected budget shortfall of $730 million in 2026. Big, bold solutions are needed to secure the financial viability of the region's transit system. PART fulfills a state requirement tasking CMAP with developing legislative recommendations on the region's transit system.
CMAP Executive Director Erin Aleman was joined by (from left to right) City of Chicago Chief Operating Officer John Roberson, Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart, Gerald Bennett, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, DuPage County Board Chair Deborah Conroy, Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam, Illinois State Representative Eva-Dina Delgado, Metropolitan Planning Council President and CEO Darlene Hightower, and Civic Federation Acting President Sarah Wetmore.
"These 129 pages include proposed solutions built on sound policy, data, research, analysis, and consensus. Everything in this report is focused on strengthening our transit system for the people who call northeastern Illinois home. Now is the time to be bold — to chart a path for the next 50, 100 years of transit investments that lives up to the region's economic, equity, and climate commitments," said CMAP Executive Director Erin Aleman.
"We want our transportation network to reflect an equitable plan that will bring much-needed improvements to communities that have faced barriers to affordable, accessible transit for far too long."
- Senator Ram Villivalam (District 8), legislation sponsor
"The PART report represents a crucial starting point in our journey towards a revitalized public transit system. It underscores the power of collaboration and sets the stage for bold actions that will redefine the future of transportation in our region."
- Representative Eva-Dina Delgado (District 3), legislation sponsor
CMAP brought together representatives from business, community, environmental, labor, and civic sectors to develop a menu of solutions.
PART addresses a variety of timely transit needs, including financial viability and funding, rider experience, governance, and community and economic development. PART supports our region's ON TO 2050 vision's principles of inclusive growth, resilience, and prioritized investment.
CMAP and the many partners and stakeholders involved in PART organized the report around three themes:
- The system we want: Ideas to rebuild public confidence, increase ridership, and improve the experience for all types of riders — to ensure transit service is seamless and affordable.
- How we pay for it: Reforms and funding options that can close the multimillion-dollar shortfall facing the region's transit system.
- How to implement it: Efforts to address governance structures and how funding is distributed.
Read about this and more in the latest transportation newsletter.