An Orange Line rider talks with MPC and Active Transportation Alliance about Chicago's Bus Rapid Transit plans.
MPC Research Assistant John O'Neill contributed to this post.
In August, the Metropolitan Planning Council and Active Transportation Alliance partnered on an outreach campaign to gauge and rally support for a new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system along the Western and Ashland corridors. On Aug. 7, 8 and 9, we took the campaign to the streets, meeting hundreds of prospective BRT riders at six busy bus and El stations along the corridor during the afternoon rush hour.
Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, we used large display boards like these to help riders visualize what BRT is:
Image courtesy of Chicago Architecture Foundation
We fielded plenty of good questions about the proposed project, and provided riders with take-home information on BRT to share with their neighbors and friends. Some 130 people also signed a Riders for Better Transit petition asking local aldermen to prioritize bus-only lanes, a key feature of successful BRT.
On the final evening, we co-hosted a BRT Happy Hour at Bad Dog Tavern in Ravenswood, with support from the networking groups Transit-Oriented Drinks and Urban Geeks Drinks. About 50 folks turned out to learn more about BRT in Chicago (and, yes, enjoy some beers on a fine summer evening.)
The traveling BRT exhibit was a great opportunity to continue to rally community support for Bus Rapid Transit and to generate interest in upcoming CTA public open house meetings. If you didn't catch the exhibit on the road, you can still see it on display at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 S. Michigan Ave.