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Watkins Warns Transport Jobs May Be Lost

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Mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins warned recently that as many as 17,000 jobs and millions in revenue will be lost if the city’s infrastructure isn’t improved.

Watkins issued the warning during a press conference Feb. 8 outlining her transportation policy plans for the city at her campaign office at 2312 W. Harrison Ave.

Chicago mayoral candidate Patricia Van Pelt Watkins talking to the press about her transportation plans for the city, if elected mayor, during her press conference at her campaign office on Feb. 8, 2011. Photo by Mary C. Johns

Chicago has one of the busiest rail gateways in the U.S., accounting for one-third of the nation’s rail traffic and resulting in 38,000 jobs and $22 billion in economic value to the region, Watkins said.

“We cannot overlook the fact that we have a public transit system that provides over 1.7 million rides per day, and yet too many of our citizens live in communities that are disproportionately impacted by crumbling infrastructure, service cuts and poor access to jobs and opportunity – despite the fact that they have been forced to pay increasingly high fares over the years,” Watkins declared.

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