Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Chicago Fights for Public Transit

By Maria Camargo

Chicago, IL – A fighting community organization, the Blue Line Task Force, has collected 10,000 signatures from transit riders demanding that services be restored. These names will be delivered to Mayor Daley as a petition for much needed train services.

270,000 working people ride the Douglas Blue Line every day. The Douglas Blue Line runs through the southwest part of the city, where the majority of people are Latino and African American.

Three years ago, Mayor Daley and his transportation board made cutbacks in train service. A community organizer remembers that, “People immediately spoke out about it. We didn't want the Mayor taking away something we need.”

Since then the Blue Line Task Force was formed to put pressure on the Mayor to open the Line for 24 hours, 7 days a week like other train lines. “Something is not right when Mayor Daley is providing free trolley transportation for the tourists but cuts in services for certain communities who pay for public transportation,” stated a member of the Task Force.

The Task Force is busy planning for a meeting with the Mayor to demand that the needs of the under-served communities are addressed. They plan to hold a vigil at the one of the train stops to draw more attention to the bad state of public transportation. The Chicago neighborhoods affected by the Mayor's cutbacks are Pilsen Little Village, Lawndale, Berwyn, and Cicero.

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