Check Out MPC’s New Video Introducing Bus Rapid Transit to Chicagoans

The city’s plan for “gold-standard” bus rapid transit on Ashland between 95th and Irving Park will create a fast, reliable north-south public transportation route by converting travel lanes into dedicated bus lanes, helping more people move efficiently though the city. That’s a hard concept for many Chicagoans to wrap their heads around, as evidenced by a watered-down counter-proposal by Near West NIMBYs, a clueless editorial in a community paper endorsing it, and a number of complaints to Second Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti’s office.

The Metropolitan Planning Council has put together this easy-to-understand video that lays out the many benefits of BRT: 80-percent-faster bus access to work, school, shopping and medical appointments; reduced congestion and emissions; safer, more pleasant walking conditions; and more prosperous, vibrant business districts. The spot features Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, CTA Chief Planning Officer Rebekah Scheinfeld, Illinois Medical District Director Warren Ribley and Teamwork Englewood Tech Organizer Demond Drummer.

As discussed at a recent roundtable on Chicago’s BRT proposal, the best way to convince residents that reconfiguring Ashland to prioritize transit is a good idea may simply be to implement the plan, beginning with the upcoming 5.5-mile pilot on Ashland between 31st and Cortland, and let people experience the benefits for themselves. But the more citizens who are on board with the project from the get-go, the smoother the road will be for creating this exciting new addition to the city’s transportation network. This MPC video is a good strategy for winning hearts and minds.


Ashland Bus Rapid Transit NIMBYs Try to Win Over Aldermen

The BRT NIMBYs are at it again. In January, the Ashland-Western Coalition, a consortium of chambers of commerce and community development groups on the Near West Side, hosted a public meeting where business owners panicked that the CTA’s plan to build bus rapid transit on Ashland would ruin them. Earlier this month the coalition announced […]

It’s Up to Chicago to Set a Bold New Standard for American BRT

“We knew how important it was for federal policy makers to see innovation and new ideas bubbling up from important cities around the country,” said Nick Turner, managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation at a bus rapid transit roundtable last Friday. The foundation has provided roughly $2.8 million in grants to Chicago’s BRT program for […]

Debating Bus Rapid Transit With the Ashland-Western Coalition

Guest contributor Lindsay Bayley lives with her husband in the Noble Square neighborhood, steps from the future Ashland bus rapid transit corridor, and is a year-round bicycle commuter. She works as a senior planner with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), specializing in parking policy. The views expressed here do not represent CMAP’s stance […]