CHICAGO – State Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, is reaching out to leaders of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) and Metra Metropolitan Rail as well as the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Regional Transportation Authority to expand access to public transit in the greater Chicago area.
“Whether commuting to work or getting to school, public transit provides vital transportation to countless Illinoisans every day. However, currently, the service available isn’t adequate to meet the needs of travelers,” Buckner said. “There are simple, cost-effective steps we can take to substantially increase service options. For example, restrictions on outbound South Shore Line trains often leave Chicagoans waiting on platforms for trains that stop but won’t allow them on. Easing restrictions to allow new outbound riders would not require any new infrastructure while simultaneously increasing the frequency of trains-especially for those often forgotten on Chicago’s southside. I am eager to work with IDOT, NICTD, the RTA and the Metra to instate smart solutions such as this.”
Buckner is interested in filing legislation that will require outbound trains on the South Shore Line to pick up riders at all stops. Currently, riders are not allowed to disembark or embark within Chicago, even when there is sufficient room for new people to get on the trains.
Buckner has spearheaded numerous laws to improve transportation through Illinois for years during his time as a lawmaker, which have resulted in safer commutes, environmentally sustainable buses, and more affordable fares.
“Greater access to public transit will bring Illinois closer to its vital environmental goals and grow economic opportunities for local businesses by increasing their customer pools. For those reasons alone, this measure is the smart move. However, this is also an equity measure,” Buckner said. “All people should have freedom of movement in their city, and we are taking a step closer to ensuring that.”