Friday, June 15, 2007

Transit Riders Alliance meeting 6/23

Note: Updated start time to 10:00

Dear rail and transit supporter:

We all know that intercity trains, commuter trains and local transit are joined at the hip: They exchange many of their riders, they share many of the same supporters, and some of them—commuter trains and Amtrak—share the same tracks. Most important, they all drive economic growth.

But they also share the same troubles, including political neglect, which has risen to a crescendo in Illinois. The largest transit network in the Midwest is in deep trouble because of a logjam in the Illinois General Assembly and a standoff between the legislature and the governor. Current operating budgets cannot maintain service levels and new funding is not forthcoming, forcing CTA, Metra and PACE to contemplate September service cuts that will delay needed capital projects, alienate loyal customers and roll back the spectacular ridership gains of the last decade.

Much of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association' s recent success in promoting a bigger Downstate passenger rail program is attributable to our decision to fight for a comprehensive local transit buildup at the same time. Intercity rail and transit thus are linked not only at the ridership level, but at the policy level as well. To make sure the two
prongs of our advocacy agenda mutually reinforce each other, we have launched the Transit Riders' Alliance, a campaign designed to give transit users and business leaders throughout the state a forum and a program to lead the fight for healthy and growing transit systems.

TRA already has had an impact. Nearly 3,000 people have used our web site,, to send their state legislators faxes demanding prompt and adequate transit funding.

You can learn more about TRA's work and learn what you can do to help by joining us Saturday, June 23, in a workshop that will bring you up-to-date on the action (or inaction) in Springfield and give you some tools to push for better service.

Please join us and please invite your friends.

Transit Rider's Alliance meeting
Date & Time: Saturday, June 23, 10:00 – Noon
Place: DePaul University, Chaddick Institute, 243 S. Wabash Ave., 9th Floor, Chicago, IL

There is no charge for this event but there is a suggested donation $10.00 at the door.

Overview of Transit Riders' Alliance campaign
Update legislative actions (or inaction)
What you can do to help

To RSVP by phone leave a message at 312-409-2029 or by email to midwesthsr@aol. com.


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