MPC’s #BustedCommute Campaign Highlights Failing Transportation Infrastructure

Image: MPC
Image: MPC

Fed up with overcrowded ‘L’ trains and buses, dilapidated viaducts, potholed and/or flooded streets, and crumbling sidewalks, the result of our leaders failure to take the bull by the horns when it comes to adequate funding for transportation? The Metropolitan Planning Council, in cooperation with other Illinois transportation organizations and advocates, has launched the #BustedCommute social media campaign to collect images, videos, and stories of our state’s failing infrastructure. MPC will use the material to push for sustainable funding for transportation.

“Illinois is not spending enough to get a functioning, reliable, multimodal transportation system,” the group said in a statement. “In the past we’ve relied on infrequent (and inadequate) capital bills to patch together funding. To allow Illinois to return our roads, bridges and transit to good condition and plan for growth, we need a substantial, regular, reliable source of revenue.”

Since the Trump administration has announced its intentions to slash funding for sustainable transportation, and its much-hyped infrastructure bill contains no new federal funding, MPC argues that the state of Illinois needs to step up and create a more substantial revenue source for infrastructure. For example, Illinois’ gas tax has been stuck at 19 cents a gallon since 1991, so it’s due for an increase. A vehicle-miles-traveled tax might be another way to raise money as gas tax revenue drops off in the future due to the increasing popularity of hybrid and electric cars.

But politicians may not take action to address the problem until there is more support from constituents. So sharing your photos, video clips, and tales of being late for work due to a stalled train, having the path of your wheelchair blocked by a broken sidewalk, or messing up the wheel of your bike on a pothole, will help provide evidence that more infrastructure funding is needed. MPC will deliver these messages to state lawmakers with a call to action this spring.

Here’s how to share your #BustedCommute images and stories:

  • Snap a photo or video and write a caption. Mention what happened and where (a particular train station, bus stop, intersection, town, or neighborhood).
  • Post your captioned image on Twitter with the #BustedCommute hashtag. MPC will comb the feed. You can also Tweet to them directly at @metroplanners.
  • Email MPC your photo and story at bustedcommute@metroplanning.org.
  • The “much hyped infrastructure” bill ended up increasing funding rather than cutting funding on many if not all substantive sustainable areas of the bill. From HUD to Amtrak budget lines are getting increased funding. Meanwhile the $25 billion wall got only a temporary $1.6 billion “6 months worth” (whatever that means) funding. When Trump threatened to veto he was reminded that a government shutdown would generate bad optics during his next day’s trip to Mar-a-lago. He signed. Perhaps with a wink. Optics run in both directions.

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