May 12, 2021

As our state and nation continue responding to the pandemic, public transit remains an essential service, responsible for transporting health care employees, emergency responders, and retail workers to jobs throughout the region. The RTA remains committed to keeping elected officials and stakeholders up to date about COVID-19 impacts on transit and the region’s response. Visit the RTA COVID Recovery web page for more information, and please encourage others to subscribe.

Campaign reminds riders: Masks are still required on transit

The RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace have launched a joint advertising campaign reminding transit riders they should continue to wear a mask while riding responsibly.

Four separate ads will run through the summer, showing riders of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and ride types safely wearing masks and riding transit. Look for these vibrant reminders to keep masking in English, Spanish, and Polish, in print starting Sunday, May 16 in the Chicago Sun Times, Daily Herald, Reflejos, Polish Daily News, Southside Weekly, Hyde Park Herald, Lake County Journal, and Suburban Life. To help other organizations and individuals spread the word, the RTA has created a toolkit, with downloadable artwork sized for newsletters and social media. 

In January, the federal government issued a nationwide mandate for passengers and operators to always wear masks on all public transportation vehicles and within stations. Last week, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended that mandate to September 13, 2021. Even after vaccination, continuing to mask while riding transit minimizes spread of COVID-19 and protects those who are not yet vaccinated, children who are not yet eligible for vaccination, and those who are severely immunocompromised. 

“Each agency has worked diligently over the last 15 months to keep riders safe and to keep vehicles clean. We’ve made investments to improve air circulation and to allow for continued social distancing. We are ready to continue to adapt as needs change and riders return,” said Leanne Redden, RTA Executive Director. “Each of us needs to do our part by continuing to wear our masks to keep each other safe.”  


Pilot projects innovate for first- and last-mile mobility

A new report describes two recently completed pilot projects in which the RTA partnered with Transportation Network Companies (such as Uber or Lyft) to explore solutions for connecting transit with a rider's final destination, such as work or school. To address such "first-mile" or "last-mile" gaps in Bannockburn and Oak Brook, the projects provided a combined 6,000 trips to help commuters by filling gaps in coverage that often discourage potential riders who would otherwise use public transportation.

The RTA is committed to helping transit Stay Competitive, which is a core goal of the 2018-2023 Invest in Transit regional transit strategic plan. See an interactive story map that shows all current and completed RTA mobility projects.

Thank you,

Leanne Redden
RTA Executive Director
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