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RTA logo Regional Transit Coordination Plan (RTCP) Public Involvement and Focus Groups

Study Description

The Regional Transit Coordination Plan is an ongoing multi-year program aimed at enhancing regional mobility by facilitating seamless travel on public transportation.

Public Involvement began with an open-house public meeting in December 1999, when the proposed approach for the RTCP was presented to and discussed with members of the general public and stakeholder groups. Public comments were incorporated into the Proposed Approach Report submitted to the Illinois General Assembly (December 31, 1999). Throughout the year 2000, RTA management and staff made numerous presentations on the RTCP to various committees of the Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS) and the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC), community and business groups, suburban Councils of Mayors, and other transportation agencies. Area residents have also participated in two rounds of focus groups as described below. Regular updates on the plan were provided in the RTA Reports newsletter.

Public participation has been supplemented by Focus Groups involving both residents and stakeholder representatives. Separate focus groups for residents of the City of Chicago, inner suburbs and outer suburbs were conducted in October 2000 to gather perceptions on transit and interagency transfers. Those sessions were augmented in November 2000 with a stakeholder focus group of community and business leaders from throughout the region, which was a follow-up to interviews conducted with various stakeholder agencies and groups earlier that year. All of the focus groups suggested a need for better coordination of basic transit information, better connections between transit services especially in the suburbs, and a desire for some sort of universal fare mechanism; so that travelers can best use the entire regional transit system.

A second round of resident focus groups was conducted in June 2002 to test recommendations from the information component aimed at providing better information for transit customers and potential customers. At all transfer locations and for all points of access to the transit system, focus group participants have expressed a preference for agencies to use common symbols, icons and logos to convey an integrated transit system and identity.

Program:Regional Transit Coordination Plan
Current Activities:In 2004, the RTA conducted additional user-centered design research to better understand how people use transit products, services and environments throughout the region, and to guide specific product improvements. This qualitative field research was conducted at various interagency locations throughout the region, on trips with actual riders, and with individual users of transit products. With this depth of knowledge about customer needs, the RTA has a reliable basis for making key improvements to products under development, and for developing regional passenger information design standards.
Information Updated:October 2008
Study Documents
Regional Transit Coordination Plan Initial Focus Group Study (October, 2000)
Regional Transit Coordination Plan Stakeholder Focus Group Report (November, 2000)
Regional Transit Coordination Plan Wayfinding Focus Group Report (August, 2003)
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