Fair Transit South Cook

 
Quick link to: Community Partner Toolkit | Summer 2021 Outreach Program


PROJECT OVERVIEW

Cook County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH), under the leadership of President Toni Preckwinkle, has established a partnership with the region’s transit agencies to launch the Fair Transit pilot. The three-year pilot project enhances transit service and lower costs for residents of the south side of Chicago, south suburban Cook and north Will Counties.

The pilot launched on January 4, 2021 and offers up to a 50% fare reduction on Metra's Electric and Rock Island lines as well as improved service and frequency on Pace Route 352 Halsted. Anyone riding transit in the pilot area may take advantage of these initiatives. The County is underwriting costs for each participating agency. 

New schedules for the Metra Electric line will be added July 12 with the Rock Island line following on July 19. The new schedules favor a balanced approach to service levels and offer better off-peak options.

Metra Fare Table  English Español

Pace Route 352 Halsted Timetable  English Español

The Fair Transit pilot provides south Cook County and north Will County residents with greater opportunities to make transit their choice for getting to work, school, shopping and regional destinations. All announcements regarding Fair Transit South Cook will be available on this page. Please check back regurlarly for updates.

 

 

PILOT TIMELINE

The three-year pilot will be implemented in phases, as outlined below:

TIMELINE ACTIVITIES

  • The Metra, Pace and Cook County Boards approved participation during their respective 2020 November and December Board meetings. 
  • A formal kick-off event celebrating the launch of Fair Transit was held at the LaSalle Metra Station on January 4, 2021. Watch the event in it's entirety on Cook County's YouTube page
  • Leading up to the launch event, community partners were also interviewed about the impact Fair Transit will have on their communities. Watch the highlight video here

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks during at the LaSalle Street Metra platform during the  January 4, 2021 Fair Transit press event.
  
County, Pace, and Metra officials during the Fair Transit press event at the LaSalle Street Metra platform on January 4, 2021.
 

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Public awareness and participation in this pilot are critical to evaluate the value and effectiveness. Cook County and the participating transit partners will engage with community organizations to share information with their networks at each pilot milestone. Pilot representatives also plan to pop-up throughout south Cook and portions of Will counties to reach residents as they go about their daily routines. Surveys will be distributed throughout the course of the pilot to help gauge the effectiveness of pilot initiatives.

 

Virtual Community Partner Meetings

The most recent community partner meeting was held on July 15, 2021 to discuss pilot progress, available data and the team's summer outreach plans.
View the presentation that was shared: 



The first community partner meeting was held in November 2020 to preview pilot details and the launch event.
View the summary from the community partner meeting: English | Español
View the presentation that was shared

Summer 2021 Outreach Program

Two people in at the Fair Transit pop up event in Tinley Park

A Fair Transit informational booth complete with activities and giveaways will be popping up at various community events throughout the pilot area this summer.

View the map of the 15 community areas the team plans to visit between mid-July and the end of September. Please continue to check back for updates as additonal pop-up locations are added. 

 

Upcoming Pop-Up Event Schedule 

Sunday, July 18 | 12 - 5 p.m. 
Downtown Tinley Block Party
17375 S. Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park, IL 60477

Wednesday, July 28 | 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Homewood Farmers Market
999 Kedzie Avenue in Flossmoor, IL 6042

Wednesday, August 4 | 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Pullman City Market
11100 S. Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago, IL 60628

Sunday, August 8 | 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
95th Street Farmers Market 
1835 W. 95th Street in Chicago, IL 60643

Saturday, August 21 | 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Park Forest Farmers Market 
152 Main Street in Park Forest, IL 60466

Saturday, August 28 | 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Dragon Boat Races
1700 S. Wentworth Avenue in Chicago, IL 60616

Sunday, September 12 | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sundays on State 
N. State Street & W. Lake Street in Chicago, IL 60601

If you have an idea for a community event in one of these regions that would be good for Fair Transit participation, please email FairTransit@cookcountyil.gov.

Additional Outreach Activities 

Postcard Distribution at Vaccine Sites: Informational postcards and branded hand sanitizer were distributed at 5 County vaccination sites.

Fair Transit Intercept Surveys: Outreach teams went to high-traffic transit locations to raise awareness of the fare discounts and service improvements. The intercept teams spoke with about 31 transit riders in one-on-one interviews.

Fair Transit Business Outreach: 90 businesses within the pilot area were contacted to share information about the pilot, and over 50 businesses responded requesting more information.
 
Awareness Building Advertisements: Promotional ads were placed on 25 Pace Bus Shelters, on the sides of 25 Pace Buses and on 15 Metra viaducts overlooking major roadways throughout the pilot area. 

Community Partner Toolkit

Cook County, Metra and Pace are conducting media campaigns to spread the word about Fair Transit South Cook throughout 2021. We invite you to become a pilot ambassador by sharing this information with your networks. Community support and engagement are critical to the project's success and our project team appreciates everything that interested community stakeholders have done and continue to do to improve transit for south Cook residents. 

Promote the pilot in your community by downloading the materials below. 

The Fair Transit Community Partner Toolkit - English | Español
Right-click the file link and click Save Link As... to download and save the desired file.

  1. Fair Transit Logo (PNG) | Logotipo de Fair Transit (PNG)
  2. Pilot Fact Sheet (PDF) | Hoja Informativa (PDF)
  3. Pilot Area Map (JPG) |  Mapa de la Zona Piloto (PNG)
  4. Social Media Materials (suggested text and graphics) | Medios de Redes Sociales
    1. Social Graphic (Twitter) - METRA (JPG) | Imagen para Twitter - METRA (JPG)
    2. Social Graphic (Twitter) PACE (JPG) | Imagen para Twitter - PACE (JPG)
    3. Social Graphic (Twitter) PILOT (JPG) | Imagen para Twitter - PILOT (JPG)
  5. Poster (PDF for print or to attach to an email) | El Cartel (PDF)
  6. Postcard (PDF)

Surveys

The Fair Transit team is learning about residents' travel needs by conducting online surveys throughout the span of the project. Take our current survey by clicking the button below. Survey participants that live in the pilot area will be entered to win a $25 Ventra gift card.

LINK TO THE SURVEY

This survey will close October 25, 2021.

A pre-pilot survey was launched in December 2020. Responses to this survey are currently being analyzed and will help provide a base of information for how people were using transit prior to the pilot launch.

Research + Information