The Active Transportation Alliance, a longtime Chicago-area bicycling advocacy group, launched a transit campaign today to fight for better service.

Riders for Better Transit is pushing for an overhaul of the CTA Red Line, a universal fare card system, a revamp of Union Station and a bus rapid transit system for express bus service.

"Transit riders really need a voice," alliance executive director Ron Burke said. "We need transit riders to be viewed as a constituency."

Some of the items on the alliance's agenda also are on the CTA's agenda.

Mayor Emanuel has said that modernizing the Red Line is a top priority, and the CTA has presented plans to pilot bus rapid transit on Jeffery Boulevard on the South Side.

"The fact that someone is doing a pilot study doesn't mean these things are going to get done," Burke said. "There is a lot of heavy lifting yet to be done."

The group is similar to a transit group in New York, the Straphangers Campaign, which advocates for lower fares and station improvements.

Chicago's alliance said riders can voice their support for the campaign on their Web site.