To build a brighter future, we must make public transit greener, more accessible
By Kevin Morrison, Mary Beth Canty, Bill McLeod and Rod Craig
In July, 2021, we hosted a town hall meeting in Hanover Park to ask residents how public transportation could be improved in the Northwest suburbs.
The message from attendees was loud and clear: There is a pressing need to expand access to public transportation and we must invest in fully electric vehicle fleets to combat climate change.
We couldn’t agree more. By making public transit cleaner and more accessible, we would make strides in mitigating the effects of climate change. We would have fewer vehicles on the roads and significantly reduce our carbon footprint, which is critically important in the fight against climate change.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average passenger vehicle emits about 400 grams of CO2 per mile and according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), communities that invest in public transit reduce the nation’s carbon emissions by 63 million metric tons annually.
For too long, local governments haven’t been able to make real investments in public transit due to a lack of funding and resources. But with an influx of federal dollars to help our communities recover from the pandemic and fix our infrastructure — from the American Rescue Plan Act to the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill — we are finally poised to meet the moment and make transformative investments in public transportation.