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.

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