The Cook County Department of Transportation / Highways (DoTH) created its first-ever transit regional plan that prioritized equitable investments, increased ridership, and streamlined transit operations. The plan goals, timeline, and engagement were thoroughly discussed and evaluated.

An integral part of the process of planning the overall implementation of the Cook County Transit Plan. The County sought responses to a public survey, asking respondents to prioritize seven different strategies being considered by the County as part of the planning effort. The aim was to understand which of the strategies would have the greatest positive impact on residents’ quality of life and their experiences in transit.

The transportation survey was made available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Polish, and Spanish. Other public engagement efforts included feedback sessions held in 2021 and early 2022. The survey was open until Sunday, May 1, 2022, and gathered valuable input from the community.

Upcoming surveys

  1. Public Transit Priorities: This survey would ask respondents to rank their priorities for public transit improvements in Cook County and Chicago, such as increased frequency, accessibility, safety, cleanliness, and affordability. The results will help transportation planners understand the public’s expectations and guide investment decisions.
  2. Commuting Patterns and Preferences: This survey would gather information on residents’ commuting habits and preferences, including the modes of transportation they use, the reasons behind their choices, and any barriers they face when using public transit. The data will help transportation agencies identify areas for improvement and develop targeted strategies to encourage transit use.
  3. Transit-Oriented Development: This survey would explore residents’ opinions on transit-oriented development (TOD), which involves creating compact, walkable, mixed-use communities near transit stations. Respondents would provide input on the types of amenities, housing options, and businesses they would like to see near transit hubs to foster vibrant and sustainable communities.
  4. Multimodal Transportation Integration: This survey would assess the public’s interest in and experience with multimodal transportation options, such as bike-sharing, ride-hailing services, and carpooling. Understanding residents’ needs and preferences for integrating various transportation modes can help transportation planners design more seamless and user-friendly transit systems.
  5. Accessibility and Inclusivity: This survey will focus on the experiences of people with disabilities, seniors, and other groups facing unique challenges in accessing public transportation. The feedback will help transportation agencies identify areas for improvement and ensure that transit systems are accessible and inclusive for all users.
  6. Environmental Impact and Sustainability: This survey would gauge residents’ concerns about the environmental impact of transportation in Cook County and Chicago and their interest in sustainable transportation alternatives, such as electric buses or green infrastructure. The findings can inform future policies and investments prioritizing environmental sustainability and reducing the region’s carbon footprint.
  7. Public Transit during COVID-19: This survey will explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected residents’ public transit usage and their expectations for safety and hygiene measures on public transportation. Insights from this survey can help transit agencies adapt their operations and communication strategies to better address passengers’ concerns during and after the pandemic.
  8. Transit Safety and Crime Prevention: This survey would seek input on residents’ perceptions of safety and crime on public transit in Cook County and Chicago. The survey could explore specific concerns, such as personal safety at transit stations, onboard vehicles, and the effectiveness of current security measures. The feedback will help transportation agencies identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to enhance safety and deter crime. Learn more about safety on public transit at CTA’s safety page and Metra’s safety initiatives.
  9. Emergency Preparedness and Response: This survey would evaluate the public’s awareness of and confidence in emergency preparedness and response measures on public transit systems. Respondents would provide feedback on their experiences and expectations regarding evacuation procedures, emergency communication, and staff training. The results can guide transportation agencies in refining emergency protocols and ensuring riders feel safe during unforeseen events. Find more information on emergency preparedness from the Chicago Department of Transportation and Cook County’s emergency resources.
  10. Cook County Warrant Search and Transit Safety: This survey would focus on understanding the public’s awareness and opinions on the relationship between Cook County warrant searches and transit safety. It would explore residents’ perspectives on law enforcement collaboration with transit agencies to identify and apprehend individuals with outstanding warrants while using public transportation. The feedback could help authorities and transit agencies ensure a safer transit environment while addressing privacy concerns. Find here more information on Cook County Warrant Search.
  11. Security Technologies and Privacy: This survey would examine residents’ opinions on using security technologies, such as surveillance cameras, facial recognition, and mobile apps, to enhance safety in public transit. The survey would also explore privacy and data protection concerns, balancing the need for effective security measures with protecting riders’ personal information. Learn more about security technologies and privacy from the RTA’s security and surveillance initiatives and CTA’s camera network.