Plan resources

How can we address the most urgent challenges facing our region? 
Transit is the Answer.

The scale, complexity, and existential nature of the challenges that our transit system is facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic demanded a new, inclusive process to develop this strategic plan. The challenges are too great for any one agency or organization to tackle on its own, and the RTA believes that it is only through coalition building — mutual learning and agenda setting — that we can rise to meet the moment. The RTA is committed to change, and the process we followed over 18 months spent developing this plan reflects that commitment. Every aspect of the plan, including its Vision, Principles, and action items have been created through collaboration and engagement with thousands of diverse voices.

Read more in the Engagement Report and learn more about the Working Groups convened to develop content for the plan on the Working Group Hub.

We Listened

The goal of the listening phase was to gather and share initial input on the priorities, challenges, and opportunities that the plan should address. This phase included multiple, wide-ranging touchpoints including a guest blog series from transit thinkers around the country and region, a public forum held with the University of Illinois-Chicago, guest speakers at the RTA Board of Directors meetings, stakeholder workshops, multiple outreach events held in every county in the RTA region, and a public survey that received more than 1,500 responses.

We Co-created

RTA convened five stakeholder working groups to examine key topics for the plan, identify priorities, and develop recommendations. It was important for RTA to work in partnership with diverse stakeholders and together build the goals and strategies that frame this plan. RTA offered stipends to any participant who requested it to ensure that they were compensated for their time and expertise. Working group meetings were carefully designed to create a productive and inclusive forum for discussion and cultivate a group of stakeholders that are knowledgeable about transit issues and potential solutions and can act as champions of the plan and its recommendations. Learn more by exploring the Working Group Hub.

We Coalesced

Working group members generated hundreds of desired actions to improve the regional transit system and help deliver this plan’s vision for safe, reliable, accessible public transportation that connects people to opportunity, advances equity, and combats climate change. RTA conducted additional outreach to hear from people in each of the six counties of the region, learning about how and why people value transit and their priorities to improve the system. The RTA worked with partners at the Service Boards and CMAP and incorporated broader public and stakeholder input to craft an Agenda for Advocacy and Action and a plan to immediately begin implementing the highest priority items.