Today is the day the typical Chicago-area household has earned enough to cover transportation costs for a year, according to the Illinois Public Interest Research Group and the Center for Neighborhood Technology. New findings by IPIRG show a typical Chicago family pays about two months of their salary to pay for transportation costs -- a bigger chunk of the budget than food or health care. In far outer-ring suburbs like Plainfield which are dependent on cars, households spend nearly three months of their yearly income to get around.
Both IPIRG and CNT want more money spent on public transit, to bring down those costs so people could some of that transit money for paying for groceries. Or college. The American Public Transportation Association figures that a driver in Chicago could save $10,491 annually by switching to public transit.
Illinois is getting $414 million in funding for transit from the Recovery Act, and another $935 million in flexible "Surface Transportation Program" funding. "We encourage Gov. Quinn to use as much flexible transportation funding as possible on public transit," said Alexandra Lozanoff for IPIRG.