Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways Fair Transit South Cook Project Receives 2021 Innovative Transportation Solutions Award

Fair Transit is a three-year pilot project in partnership with the region’s transit agencies

The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) Fair Transit South Cook project is the recipient of the 2021 Innovative Transportation Solutions award by the Chicago chapter of Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS) International. The project was recognized at a virtual awards ceremony Thursday evening.

The Fair Transit pilot was created to ensure that residents in traditionally underserved communities in the County’s Southland had equitable access to public transit. According to the South Cook County Mobility Study, residents who live in the pilot region spend up to half of their income on transportation-related expenses and experience longer commute times. The pilot lowers costs and increases service for residents who need it most.

“I am grateful to WTS for recognizing the value of Fair Transit South Cook and congratulate DoTH, Metra, Pace and all of our partners for launching this pilot,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Now more than ever this project plays an important role in ensuring all residents who live in the Southland are able to get to their destinations in a cost effective and timely manner.”

According to WTS, the award recipient must illustrate how the female project manager successfully met and overcame challenges and how the project achieved its purpose. The recipient must also detail the innovative purpose of the transportation initiative, solution, project or policy and the number of women involved from initiation to completion. Additionally, the key elements of the project must be innovative and showcase how the female project manager successfully implemented those elements.

Since the beginning stages of Fair Transit, Jennifer “Sis” Killen, superintendent of DoTH, has been an integral voice on the project. She understands the critical role equity plays in all transportation projects throughout the County.

“I thank WTS for recognizing our hard work and commitment to ensure that transit is accessible to every resident,” Killen said. “Communities in the Southland have been dealing with connectivity issues for too long and Fair Transit aims to improve that. I’m grateful to President Preckwinkle for giving us the tools to bring her vision of equitable transit to the region to help reverse historic disinvestment by maximizing the use of existing transit services.”

About Fair Transit South Cook

Fair Transit South Cook launched on January 4, 2021 and offers up to 50% reduced fares on the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines and extends service on the Pace Route 352 Halsted. This is a three-year pilot project that improves public transportation for residents of the south side of Chicago, south suburban Cook and north Will counties. Fair Transit is a collaboration between regional transit operators CMAP and RTA. Ultimately, the project seeks to provide seamless transfers between all transit operators in subsequent phases.

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Watch the Fair Transit video played during the awards ceremony on WTS’ YouTube Channel.




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