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 aims to improve transit service and lower costs for the 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 percent fare reduction on Metra's Electric and Rock Island lines as well as improved service and frequency on Pace's Halsted 352 route, a future Pulse Corridor. Anyone riding transit in the pilot area may take advantage of these initiatives. The County is underwriting costs for each participating agency.
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.
The three-year pilot will be implemented in phases, as outlined below:
- 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.
Throughout 2021, the project team will conduct virtual and in-person engagement sessions as appropriate per current COVID-19 guidelines.
All announcements regarding Fair Transit South Cook will be available on this page. Please check back regurlarly for updates.
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.
Community Partner Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings with community partners were held in November 2020 to preview pilot details and outreach plans.
View a summary of participant input here: Community Partner Meeting Summary - English | Español
View the presentation that was shared here:
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.
- Fair Transit Logo (PNG) | Logotipo de Fair Transit (PNG)
- Pilot Fact Sheet (PDF) | Hoja Informativa (PDF)
- Pilot Area Map (JPG) | Mapa de la Zona Piloto (PNG)
- Social Media Materials (suggested text and graphics) | Medios de Redes Sociales
- Poster (PDF for print or to attach to an email) | El Cartel (PDF)
Learning about your travel needs and how the pandemic has affected you will help shape the pilot. Throughout the project there will be multiple surveys to provide input and feedback to the project team.
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
- Part of the pilot is funded through Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Accelerating Innovative Mobility program. You can learn more about the grant process and awardees here: www.transit.dot.gov/AIM