Thursday, November 01, 2007

action alert: tell springfield to take action on public transit!

from the good folks at the Center for Tax & Budget Accountability:

If Springfield does not pass legislation to increase transit funding, CTA and Pace will implement substantial service cuts and fare increases on November 4th.

Call your legislator...Today. You can impact the negotiations in Springfield by calling your legislator right now.

The Illinois House reconvenes today in anticipation of calling a vote on the mass transit bill tomorrow, Friday, Nov 2. Originally brought to the Illinois House floor on September 4, the bill garnered 61 votes (5 Republicans voted with the bill), but lacked 10 votes for a supermajority to override an anticipated veto from the governor.

To see a full tally of the September 4 vote, go to

Key districts that stand to gain from the bill, but whose legislators were either not present or did not vote for the bill in September include, according to alphabetical order:

Patricia Bellock (R - Hinsdale)
Mark Beaubien (R - Barrington Hills)
Robert Biggins (R - Elmhurst)
Linda Chapa LaVia (D- Aurora)
Sandy Cole (R -Grayslake)
Jim Durkin (R - Western Springs)
Renee Kosel (R- New Lenox)
Carolyn Krause (R - Mount Prospect )
Patricia Lindner (R- Aurora )
Mike Fortner (R - West Chicago)

Karen May (D - Highland Park)
Michael McAuliffe (R - Chicago)
Kevin McCarthy (D - Orland Park)
James Meyer (R - Bollingbrook)
Ruth Munson (R-Elgin)
Joanne Osmond (R - Antioch )
Sandra Pihos (R - Glen Ellyn )
Robert Pritchard (R- Sycamore
Jim Sacia (R - Pecatonica)
Ed Sullivan (R - Mundelein)
Michael Tryon (R - Crystal Lake )

What you can do:
§ Call your State Representative TODAY to support SB572, House Amendment 10. To find your State Representative, go to the General Assembly website ( or go to

§ Thank her/him if s/he voted in September for the bill and encourage her/him to vote with the bill on Friday, Nov 2.

Without this bill:
1. Collar counties will not receive $116 million for road enhancements.

2. Pace will cut 46 weekday and 11 weekend routes and ALL Metra feeders, and raise fares by $.25; CTA will cut 36 routes raise fares by at least $.50 and $1 for peak rail services. Go to and for full information.

3. Cuts to ADA paratransit services (for seniors and individuals with disabilities) will match those listed above and fares will increase by at least $.50.

4. Additional fare increases and service cuts may occur in January 2008. At which point, it is expected that Metra will raise its fares by 5 or 10% in February 2008.

5. No new funds will be made available for transit systems outside of the Northeast region; and, 18 counties slated to receive transit funds for the first time will not.

6. Job Access Reverse Commute and New Freedom funds in the Northeast region may be jeopardized because CTA and Pace will not have available funds to meet match requirements.

How SB572 HAM 10 affect the Northeast region?
§ No fare increases.
§ For every $100 spent, twenty-five cents will be paid in sales tax in Chicago and fifty cents in the collar county.
§ In Chicago, for every $100,000 spent on real estate, $300 would go to the CTA.
Given that middle and low income individuals are much more likely to use mass transit, they will pay more under fare increases than tax increases. Take a look at the most recent Weekly Review

Will transit modernize or erode? All corners of the political spectrum unanimously support the bill. (See a list of endorsers: Both the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times have repeatedly voiced their support for the bill. Initially, brought to the floor for house vote on September 4, the bill received 61 votes in favor, including five Republicans. Without the full 71 votes needed to override an expected veto from the Governor, the bill was quickly set to postpone consideration. On Friday, November 2, the Illinois House will bring SB572 House Amendment 10 to the floor to determine the future of transit in Illinois.

So what's the hold up? While communities across Illinois will benefit from the bill's funding in the form of expanded resources for transit systems large and small, the governor and House Minority Leader have led the effort to develop a capital bill. The issue of a capital bill did not arise until the transit legislation was brought to the house floor on September 4. No one disagrees with the need for a capital bill for our roads, schools and transit system, particularly given that it has been seven years since our last state capital package. The real question is one of timing. By all accounts, there is currently not any real agreement about what should be in the capital bill and how it should be funded. Let's focus on transit today.

Support transit today. Call your legislator.
For further information, contact Dia Cirillo, policy director-workforce, at

Join a rally for mass transit on Monday, November 5th.

Go to or

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