By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Cities
In Chicago, all city government workers must now use public transit as their primary mode of transportation while on the job.
Public workers should use public transit.
That's according to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, whose administration issued a mandate on Saturday requiring all city government workers to use Chicago Transit Authority buses and trains as their primary mode of transportation while on the job.
(And what if they can't? They will merely have to provide an explanation when seeking reimbursement.)
It makes perfect sense, but it's quite a change for a city whose wide roads welcome the automobile.
NBC Chicago's BJ Lutz has more:
The policy was crafted after Emanuel ordered City Comptroller Amer Ahmad to conduct a thorough review of past mileage and travel practices to increase accountability and efficiency across city government, a release from the mayor's office said.
Unsurprisingly, some employees were found to be reimbursed for car washes, parking tickets and late fees on personal credit cards. Under the new rules, stronger documentation is required -- making it harder to cheat the system but also giving the city more insight into how its workers travel during office hours.
The polices are expected to save the city about $1 million in 2012, but the bigger implication is how this could help the car-friendly city move toward more frequent -- and perhaps more funded -- public transit use. With 36,000 employees on the city payroll, it would be hard to leave such infrastructure underfunded when so many Chicago government workers use it.
Oct 14, 2011
Only SmartPlanet could try to put a green face on a dying city. Chicago has long been the nest of America's socialist/marxist subversive movements and intelligentsia. Double that up with the longest running and most corrupt city government, and what do you get? The parasite of big government has become so large that its host can no longer sustain it. Have no doubt though that Rahm, the Union bosses and the rest of the political elites of Chicago will still be taking their limos to 5 star lunches.
When fraud is found the approach is to mandate something stupid instead of correcting the fraud. Start with taking away all city provided personal vehicles and do a person by person justification of why they need a city vehicle to perform their job. At the same time you simplify and crack down on the rules for what is and is not covered for travel reimbursements. All of that could be implemented without the order to use public transit. Now you are going to have building inspectors taking trains and walking 4 blocks to get to a construction site. A typical politicians solution to a simple problem. Instead of smarter government they go bigger. As implied in the story, the increased ridership will be used to justify dumping millions of taxpayer dollars into a corrupt and badly managed transit system.