Fair Transit South Cook
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 enhances transit service and lower costs for 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% fare reduction on Metra's Electric and Rock Island lines as well as improved service and frequency on Pace Route 352 Halsted. Anyone riding transit in the pilot area may take advantage of these initiatives. The County is underwriting costs for each participating agency.
New schedules for the Metra Electric line will be added July 12 with the Rock Island line following on July 19. The new schedules favor a balanced approach to service levels and offer better off-peak options.
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. All announcements regarding Fair Transit South Cook will be available on this page. Please check back regurlarly for updates.
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.
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.
Virtual Community Partner Meetings
The most recent community partner meeting was held on July 15, 2021 to discuss pilot progress, available data and the team's summer outreach plans.
View the presentation that was shared: Summer 2021 Fair Transit Community Partner Meeting
The first community partner meeting was held in November 2020 to preview pilot details and the launch event.
View the summary from the community partner meeting: English | Español
View the presentation that was shared: Community Partner Pre-Pilot Preview
Summer 2021 Outreach Program
A Fair Transit informational booth complete with activities and giveaways will be popping up at various community events throughout the pilot area this summer.
View the map of the 15 community areas the team plans to visit between mid-July and the end of September. Please continue to check back for updates as additional pop-up locations are added.
Upcoming Pop-Up Event Schedule
Sunday, July 18 | 12 - 5 p.m.
Downtown Tinley Block Party
17375 S. Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park, IL 60477
Wednesday, July 28 | 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Homewood Farmers Market
999 Kedzie Avenue in Flossmoor, IL 6042
Wednesday, August 4 | 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Pullman City Market
11100 S. Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago, IL 60628
Sunday, August 8 | 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
95th Street Farmers Market
1835 W. 95th Street in Chicago, IL 60643
Saturday, August 21 | 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Park Forest Farmers Market
152 Main Street in Park Forest, IL 60466
Saturday, August 28 | 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Dragon Boat Races
1700 S. Wentworth Avenue in Chicago, IL 60616
Monday, August 30 | 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Blue Island Farmer's Market
Western Ave. & York Street in Blue Island Chicago IL 60406
Saturday, September 11 | 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
South Holland 5K
500 E 160th Place in South Holland, IL 60473
Sunday, September 12 | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Sundays on State
N. State Street & W. Lake Street in Chicago, IL 60601
Sunday, September 19 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Hyde Park Farmer's Market
E. 54th & S. Lake Park West in Chicago, IL 60615
If you have an idea for a community event in one of these regions that would be good for Fair Transit participation, please email FairTransit@cookcountyil.gov.
Additional Outreach Activities
Postcard Distribution at Vaccine Sites: Informational postcards and branded hand sanitizer were distributed at 5 County vaccination sites.
Fair Transit Intercept Surveys: Outreach teams went to high-traffic transit locations to raise awareness of the fare discounts and service improvements. The intercept teams spoke with about 31 transit riders in one-on-one interviews.
Fair Transit Business Outreach: 90 businesses within the pilot area were contacted to share information about the pilot, and over 50 businesses responded requesting more information.
Awareness Building Advertisements: Promotional ads were placed on 25 Pace Bus Shelters, on the sides of 25 Pace Buses and on 15 Metra viaducts overlooking major roadways throughout the pilot area.
The Fair Transit team is learning about residents' travel needs by conducting online surveys throughout the span of the project. Take our current survey by clicking the button below. Survey participants that live in the pilot area will be entered to win a $25 Ventra gift card.
This survey will close October 25, 2021.
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