World Car Free Day, celebrated annually on September 22, is organized in cities across the globe with the common goal of reducing the number of cars on the streets. The RTA and Service Boards encourage riders who regularly take transit to do so on that day and those who may not to “try transit” next Thursday.
“Car Free Day is about more than taking public transportation one day of the year,” said Leanne Redden, Executive Director of the RTA. “It’s a time to think about the impact of personal vehicles on the environment, individual health, traffic congestion and more.”
Metra, CTA and Pace Suburban Bus (collectively known as the Service Boards) have seen high ridership levels in recent years:
- Last year CTA rail ridership reached an all-time high and it was the eighth straight year that the agency provided more than 500 million bus and rail rides.
- Pace’s innovative Bus on Shoulder service along I-55 has increased five-fold since it began in 2010 and Pace ADA Paratransit ridership has doubled in the last ten years.
- In 2015, Metra provided more than 80 million rides for the ninth straight year.
“With the vast territory covered by the Service Boards, the RTA is committed to ensuring more residents have access to transit by promoting transit-oriented developments and funding local projects that make transit stations more accessible,” continued Redden.
The transit system in the RTA region covers approximately 3,700 square miles and provides more than two million rides each weekday in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties. For more information about the safety of taking public transportation compared to driving, please see a recent report issue by the American Public Transportation Association http://www.apta.com/resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/APTA-Hidden-Traffic-Safety-Solution-Public-Transportation.pdf.