The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) now has 125 new ideas for increasing regional mass transit ridership to 1 billion rides a year. All of the ideas came from a competition sponsored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, with the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reducing the number of cars on the road.

Aaron Renn, author of the "Urbanophile" blog, won $5,000 for recommending that CTA take steps that include adding new off-peak rides and shifting rides from peak to shoulder periods; adding a new bus-rapid transit component to the CTA system; and increasing mainline capacity on rail and bus. Renn also suggested improving transit's attractiveness in terms of cost, journey time and quality of experience, and that the city change land use policies and increase employment in the city's Loop area to maximize demand for transit. "Transit and climate change are among the key issues of the day, and I'm gratified to have my ideas on them considered by the Chicagoland Chamber and top transit officials in the region," Renn said in a statement.

The chamber used Waltham, Mass.-based InnoCentive to solicit the proposals, all of which may be viewed at www.innovatenow.us.

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