Concerned CTA riders: the Active Transportation Alliance wants you!
In a campaign kicking off today, Active Trans wants to "build an army" of transit advocates with Riders for Better Transit: A Powerful Voice for Riders.
Leaders of Active Trans noted that there are have been many campaigns in the past to "plug transit riders in to various issues - to amplify their voice," said Lee Crandall, director of campaign. "They were successful in the past, but not sustainable into the future."
Sustaining transit rider interest and involvement is key, said Ron Burke, executive director of Active Trans. "We want to provide sustained advocacy to achieve sustainable transit. We are partnering with lots of organizations that bring good expertise to the table. We have advocacy goals, but our focus is on organizing riders.
"We're definitely more regional in scope, and will be tackling a broader set of issues," Burke adds. "We're really looking to organize in big numbers. Right now there's a lack of political will and insufficient demand from voters. We know it's out there - it's just not jelling. Riders need to be recognized as a true constituency. That's our role - to help them voice their concerns.
So how can you get involved and lend your voice? Simple - sign up to join Riders for Better Transit and help Active Trans "build an army of transit riders," as Burke puts it.
As issues come up, members will be asked to contact their legislators. For instance, Active Trans says it wants to give riders a voice on the 2012 CTA budget.
How will they know if they are successful? There are the micro-metrics such as number of riders signing on and emails sent. But ultimately, Burke says, "we need to be able to demonstrate to legislators that riders matter."
Read a separate post the outlines advocacy goals of the Active Transportation Alliance.