CHICAGO – State Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado, D-Chicago, joined City Club members and policymakers from across Chicago this week to bring her insight to the problems facing the future of public transportation.
“The way government, and often advocates, think about public transit and how we can best improve it is outdated. We need to take a more human-centric approach instead of mathematical models that haven’t kept pace with the present day,” Delgado said.
Delgado joined the City Club’s ‘Future of Chicagoland Transit’, which brought together leaders to discuss how current transportation infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with the changing dynamics from pre-pandemic times. Delgado and her fellow moderators emphasized that riders haven’t returned to transit since the pandemic, and the distribution throughout the day has changed dramatically.
“During the COVID-19 shutdown, the one thing that stayed open was public transportation, because the people in our communities, our essential workers, needed it to stay open,” Delgado said. “Today, riders are taking the bus or the train at every hour of the day, not just morning or evening rush periods. Transportation usage has fundamentally changed because of the pandemic and its employment impacts, and we need to invest in how transit works today and not in our generalizations from the past.”
Delgado has been a long-time public transportation advocate. She passed Senate Bill 3848, which called for a report of policy recommendations to fund and develop an interconnected, 21st century transit network. Prior to serving her community in the General Assembly, she was the first Latina Vice President and Director of Community Relations at the Chicago Transit Authority.