Pedestrian and Bicycling Accidents in Chicago Might Increase after Metra Fare Hike

Could an increase in Metra rates lead to more bicycle and pedestrian accidents? According to the Daily Herald, the Metra fares will be increasing by about 30 percent for 10-ride tickets and for monthly passes. At the beginning of the year, many residents switched over to Metra to avoid higher toll prices. Now that Metra prices are increasing, many residents are expected to switch to walking and biking to get around the city instead.

With more of these travelers along our roadways, biking and pedestrian accidents in Chicago are expected to increase.
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In a recent study by the Active Transportation Alliance, the city of Chicago bombed for its walkablity and biking funding. Chicago was ranked 46th out of 51 major cities in the country for its spending on projects to improve cycling and walking in 2010. The lack of funding isn’t stopping residents from walking and biking to work. Still, the city was ranked as 12th for having the most bicycling and walking residents.

Our Chicago bicycling accident lawyers understand that the hike in Metra fair is being used to fill a budget hold of nearly $55 million. A number of suburban commuters see the fare hike as just another increase, in addition to food, gas and water service bills. Residents are used to the hikes and have found ways to deal with it. The resolution to the new hike will be walking and biking for many, many more.

Trains are running late and the increasing costs of fuel and insurance are all affecting the increase, not to mention the financial mismanagement by the city.

“In 2011, Metra funded an operating budget gap with capital dollars. In 2012, we discontinued this practice, requiring Metra to bridge the gap. Given a choice between service cuts or raising fares, riders told us a fare increase was preferred,” said Metra Chief, Robert Carlton.

In previous years, Metra borrowed from its capital budget. This budget was kept to repair equipment, to cover operating costs and to expand the system.

Changes affecting the Metra include:

-One-way tickets will now be valid for 2 weeks instead of a year.

-Monthly passes will be able to be used through the end of the month instead of expiring on noon on the 1st of the month.

-Subsidies for the Plus Bus and Link-Up are no longer.

In 2009, there were nearly 1,500 police-reported bicycle accidents in Chicago. In these accidents, six bicyclists were killed. In 2009, there were roughly 3,000 pedestrian accidents reported. Of these accidents, more than 30 died. Hundreds of others were seriously injured.

As the gas prices, the insurances prices and the fare prices continue to rise, many residents will be forced to bike and walk to their destinations. With the increasing costs of living, there are no other choices for many of our residents. With the increase in bicyclists and pedestrians we can only expect an increase in related injuries and deaths. As the increased fares take effect, motorists are asked be extremely cautious when traveling along our roadways. Motorists are most often at fault for accidents involving these vulnerable travelers.

If you or a member of your family has been involved in a bicycling or a pedestrian accident, contact the Chicago personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Unlicensed Drivers Wreaking Havoc and Causing Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 20, 2011

New Year’s Resolutions: Reducing Risks of Bicycling Accidents in Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 10, 2011