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County seeks input from residents on transit policy and projects

Cook County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) is seeking input from residents on the County’s first-of-its-kind transit plan. DoTH launched a survey this morning to get feedback on whether residents’ transit needs are adequately represented in planning process.

Residents can take the survey at online. The survey is open to responses through Sunday, May 1.

The Cook County Transit Plan builds on existing efforts of regional transit agencies, as well as the County’s Long Range Transportation Plan and focuses on equitable investments, boosting ridership and increasing seamless transit operations throughout the region. Although Cook County does not operate transit systems like Pace, Metra or CTA, it supports transit through funding, public and private partnerships as well as policy recommendations.

Public engagement is an important part of the overall planning process for the Cook County Transit Plan. The County is asking survey respondents to prioritize seven different strategies being considered by the County as part of the planning effort. The County seeks to understand which of the strategies will have the greatest positive impact on residents’ quality of life and their experiences on transit.

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The online survey asks participants to share demographic information, review each of the strategies and rank them using a points system. The results will inform where the County will make future transit policy and program investments.

The survey is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Polish and Spanish. Other public engagement efforts included feedback sessions held in 2021 and early 2022.

While Cook County continues to be the hub of an enormous transit network, shifting population, employment patterns, auto-centric design of buildings and infrastructure have resulted in a significant decline in overall ridership. Further, the long-term impact of remote working, online shopping and social networking due to the pandemic need to be considered.

The three main goals of the Transit Plan are to:

  • Increase ridership.
  • Increase seamlessness of service between transit providers.
  • Address the needs of the most transit reliant communities.

The planning process includes a market assessment, a data-driven assessment of potential capital and policy strategies as well as ongoing advising under a Technical Advisory Council.

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