"Voices of Transit" ring loud and clear with authority
I've been remiss (for a year now) in not sharing with you a fascinating report by the Illinois Public Research Interest Group Education Fund called Voices of Transit. It was one of those things that I squirreled away to post later, but never got to it. No matter. It's still pertinent.
The report was issued last April not long after legislators had raised a couple of taxes to "solve" the transit funding crisis. It reminds us that "the most compelling reason to value transit has all too often been overlooked – the expertise from riders and residents themselves who rely on transit. Voices of Transit is a compilation of interviews from those that depend on Northeastern Illinois transit. The stories compiled document perspectives from riders in their own words; perspectives that statistics can’t provide.
Here are some of the common themes from the report:
Frustration with the cost of owning a car.
- Frustration with the transit agencies.
- Recognition that transit determines access to jobs.
- Agreement that both politicians and riders are responsible for improving transit.
Read the interviews here.
The conclusion PIRG suggests should be obvious, and it is one that CTA Tattler strives to do with every post: increase community participation:
Steps should be taken at all levels to better elicit feedback and ideas from transit users. ‘The customer is always right’ is a motto that should apply to transit service as well.
Planners, politicians, and decision makers should never forget for whose ultimate use and benefit public transport is developed. Every effort should be made to involve the voices, ideas, and concerns of citizen users of transit. Residents of local communities have the most to gain or lose from transit planning and funding decisions. It is incumbent on our leaders to always keep this in mind and to go to them when questions arise. As a result of community participation and involvement we can expect better decisions that reflect the needs and values of the community.