By the time the city of Chicago’s roads are finally fully open to the public, it will be about a week after a city judge ruled that the city can’t force drivers to use public transportation.
The decision by Judge Edward Korman, who was appointed by former Mayor Richard Daley, means that drivers can still use public transit, and can still take advantage of special incentives like tax breaks.
Drivers who can’t use the public transportation system will still have to use their own cars and buses.
The ruling is a win for the Chicago Public Transit Authority, which was sued by drivers last year who wanted to be reimbursed for the time they spent traveling from their homes to work.
The lawsuit alleged that the state was using the city’s public transit system to impose a fee on them, but the city countered that drivers who used public transit were not required to pay.
In an interview on WGN Radio on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel defended the decision, saying it wasn’t a surprise that the rules would change.
“We have a great system of public transportation, and we’ve been doing it for decades,” he said.
“This is a new era, a new rule.”
But critics have pointed out that the agency is spending $10 million on upgrades that will not be fully implemented until at least 2019, when the state will be able to start enforcing its new rules.