Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg was in Chicago on Saturday, speaking to the city’s political leaders about efforts to encourage fair and equitable transportation options for all residents.
Buttigieg appeared at the 56th annual International Convention of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition in Kenwood on Saturday, speaking about the critical nature of investments in communities underserved by public transit, and how those investments will help build up those communities and reduce crime in the process.
“We think that if we invest in the places that have been disinvested in for years or decades, we are creating the opportunities that lead to safety,” he said.
Buttigieg spoke to convention-goers about Chicago’s share of the federal government’s $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill, with $2.5 billion of that money going toward investments in the city’s transit system.
The main beneficiary of that investment will be the city’s plan to extend the CTA’s Red Line beyond 95th Street, according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
“This Red Line extension will go all the way to the edge of our city,” she said.
Lightfoot says that the funding will also go toward addressing so-called ‘transit deserts,’ highlighting neighborhoods like Altgeld Gardens and Roseland.
“Those communities desperately need the support that the Red Line will bring to them,” she said.
Lightfoot said that her administration’s vision is to turn the entire city into a ’15-Minute City,’ meaning that all residents would be within 15 minutes of urban amenities.
“As we build up our infrastructure, we must do so in a smart way,” she said. “So that all residents can share in it…(and receive) all the opportunities that come with it.”