Task Force Unveils Bold, New Vision for Transit
Innovative Ideas to Improve Performance, Finance, Governance, Ethics
CHICAGO – Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann
L. Schneider today announced that the Northeastern Illinois
Public Transit Task Force has finished its final report, setting
the course for creating a world-class regional mass transit
system through a series of recommendations that will improve
performance and increase ridership while maximizing existing
resources. The task force, which convened last summer, included
15 members representing some of the region’s top leaders from
business, academia, law, government and community organizations.
“While we have put many months into developing
this final report, the real work is just beginning. I am
confident that we have asked the tough questions and made solid
and realistic recommendations that truly will benefit the
public,” said Schneider, a task force co-chair. “I am hopeful
this report will serve as a guide to decision makers seeking to
build a transit system that not only best serves public, but is
the envy around the world.”
“This substantive final report reflects the hard
work of this distinguished and diverse group. By coming
together, we have developed a set of strong, bold
recommendations that puts us on a path to much-needed reform,”
said George Ranney, the other task force co-chair. “It is clear
that business as usual is no longer acceptable for the
Northeastern Illinois public transit system and, most important,
its customers. Our economy depends on making the changes that
give the region and the state the world-class system they
Over the last seven months, the task force met
11 times, with working groups, focused on system performance,
finance and governance and ethics, meeting another eight times.
Led by a top guiding principle of putting the customer first,
the task force developed a core set of recommendations intent on
a charting a bold new future for public transit in Northeastern
The recommendations, which would streamline
system operations, take advantage of existing resources and
enhance transparency to build a system that serves the future
needs of the region, include:
Create and implement a plan to improve
regional mobility and increase transit ridership throughout
Align existing transportation, housing,
economic development and financing resources at the state,
regional, and municipal levels so that transit goals are
integrated with land use and development.
Create regional performance measures that
assess progress toward implementing the plan and achieving
Prioritize universal accessibility.
Enable new public and private transit
Implement a regional financial planning
process that supports the guiding principles and, in the
most efficient manner possible, creates a framework for
allocating operating and capital funds on a consistent and
Develop a public outreach program in order
to advocate for increased investment in transit.
Identify a new funding framework for transit
operations that supports the guiding principles, and in the
most effective manner possible, generates adequate resources
to meet the investment needs of the system on a consistent
and sustainable basis.
Revise the Capital Funding Allocation to
maintain a safe and reliable system while allowing for
appropriate service improvements that are aligned with
regional transit goals and performance measures.
Eliminate financial disincentives to
To mitigate limited public resources for
funding, eliminate barriers to entry for the private sector.
Establish performance-based management
practices across the system.
Seek new revenues.
Enhance the board appointment process to
include an independent panel to help select candidates.
Institute background checks of potential
board members and simplify the removal process for existing
Eliminate salaries for members of the
Certify that hiring, termination or
promotion decisions are not being made based on political
Ethics training for board members.
Apply the Illinois Lobbyist Registration Act
to the transit agencies.
Expand the role of the Office of Executive
The task’s force final report and
recommendations will be forwarded to the General Assembly for
its consideration and possible legislation.
The final report will be posted later this afternoon at