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Register for Best Practices in Regional Transit Governance Forum January 6
Join leading transportation experts for a morning event to bring together transportation experts and public officials to discuss regional transit governance challenges and best practices that shape the development and growth of some of the nation's most vibrant urban landscapes. The "Best Practices in Regional Transit Governance Forum" will be held January 6, 2015 at the UIC Student Center East. This no-cost event -- open to all who are interested in Chicago regional transportation -- is co-hosted by TransitCenter and the Eno Center for Transportation in conjunction with the Urban Transportation Center. Click here to register.
Watch Video From UTC 35th Anniversary Celebration October 20
More than 100 guests gathered at the Metropolitan Club in Willis Tower October 20 to attend the UTC's 35th Anniversary Celebration. A highlight of the gala evening was a panel discussion from four past directors and current Executive Director Steve Schlickman. Discussion focused on pivotal events and industry developments that took places since the UTC was launched at UIC in 1979.
Watch Video From Presentation on Transit Accessibility & Etiquette for People with Disabilities
On October 9, the Urban Transportation Center opened its Fall 2014 Diversity Lunch seminar series with a presentation by Joe Albritton on "Transit Accessibility and Etiquette for People With Disabilities." Mr. Albritton is the Deputy Commissioner for the Chicago Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities. He offers some practical advice on how to interact with those who are disabled while on transit and in public areas.
Watch Video From Presentation on Autonomous Vehicle Technology
On September 19, the Urban Transportation Center hosted a lecture by Dr. Sean Brennan on Autonomous Vehicle Technology, a new mode of transportation that someday soon may offer many potential benefits to society. Dr. Brennan, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, spoke to faculty and students as part of the UTC Seminar Series.
LiveCAM: Jane Byrne Circle Interchange Reconstruction
Keep track of progress on the Jane Byrne Circle Interchange reconstruction by visiting the live camera feed hosted by the UTC with cooperation from IDOT. This view is of the Peoria Street pedestrian overpass, which is being rebuilt to include landscaping and a dedicated bike lane. Work began in early June of 2014 on this pathway that offers assess to the CTA UIC-Halsted Blue Line station. Pedestrian access is expected to be restored in May of 2015. CTA Blue Line riders now must use the Halsted or Morgan street entrances for CTA rapid transit service access. Read more about the UTC live camera.
What's Happening at the UTC: Read the Latest Issue of the Connector
The Fall 2014 issue of the UTC Connector newsletter includes coverage of the UTC 35th Anniversary gala, an account of a presentation by engineers from Arcadis, a recap of presentations on autonomous vehicle technology and "big data" in transportation, the promotion of Dr. Paul Metaxatos to Research Associate Professor and new staff announcements.
The Summer 2014 issue of the UTC Connector newsletter provides insight on participation by faculty, staff and students at the 2014 Transport Chicago symposium, a rundown of some recent research in progress, a recap on transportation events we hosted and more.
UTC Executive Director Comments on Local, National Transportation Issues
• The need for Illinois to develop a long-range plan to fund transportation was the focus of a byline commentary by Steve Schlickman that appeared in the December 8 issue of the Daily Herald Business Ledger.
• Plans for two major transportation projects, the Illiana Expressway and Peotone Airport, were addressed in an online report from the Better Government Association December 6. Steve Schlickman offered his thoughts.
• The growth of Uber and ride sharing was the subject of a November 6 article in Washington Jewish Week. UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman was quoted, saying: "Old services need to merge with what rideshare is doing. Cabs need to be deregulated – that’s how we level the playing field.”
• Plans by Metra to raise fares over 10-years to fund much-needed capital improvements prompted Steve Schlickman to draft a commentry, which was published in the Chicago Tribune's "Voice of the People" section on October 29. And, the Active Transportation Alliance published a blog post by Steve on the Metra plan on November 4.
• On July 29, Crain's Chicago Business published an online commentary by Steve Schlickman on the value behind the growing rideshare services in metropolitan Chicago and the transportation benefits to consumers. Steve also comments on pending legislation in the Illinois General Assembly that would limit the number of rideshare drivers in Chicago. Read Steve Schlickman's complete rideshare commentary.
• An international research group published a study critical of metropolitan Chicago's transit network. In a September 15 Chicago Tribune article,, Steve, who contributed to the study, is quoted on the need to change "the governance scheme represented by four agencies."
• A mid-July robbery by armed gunmen on the CTA Orange Line prompted a lot of debate and discussion about passenger safety on Chicago's rapid tranist rail lines. In a July 17 Chicago Tribune article, Steve is quoted on the use of cameras as a deterrant to rail car robberies.
• The announcement regarding the shutdown of lanes on the Kennedy Expressway in June for bridge demolition prompted Fox Chicago 32 news to get Steve's opinion on the potential for traffic backups. View a live interview Steve conducted on Friday June 13.
• The proposed Iliana Tollway is on of the biggest transportation strories to surface in a long time. In this Associated Press story, Steve is quoted regarding the funding and financing costs for the new, 47-mile roadway.
• In the May 21 issue of the UIC News, the campus newspaper at UIC, Steve is featured in a Profile article on page 2. Read the article and you'll learn that he began his transportation career in a very hands-on way: As a bus driver at Georgetown University.
• The Regional Transportation Authority has plans to approve $5 million for an advertising campaign designed to reach non-traditional riders. In this May 20 report from the Daily Herald, Steve offers some thoughts on the proposal.
• The Task Force studying how to improve mass transit in metropolitan Chicago recommended creation of a single agency. In an April 1 report from the Chicago Tribune, Steve projected that the Illinois General Assembly would take some time before considering any proposed legislation that would establish one agency to oversee the RTA, CTA, Pace and Metra.
• As a guest speaker during the Hay Seminar presentation held by Railtec at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, Steve delivered a presentation on: “An Overview of the Funding and Finance of Transportation Projects." Visit this link to listen to the March 14 presentation and view Steve's slide presentation.
• In the ongoing discussion by a state Task Force regarding future governing plans for Chicago's transit agencies, Steve told the Chicago Sun-Times in this March 17 report that he prefers the "super agency" model favored by many other big-city transportation agencies.
• Steve offered perspectives on ride sharing services in Chicago during this taping of the WYCC "In The Loop" public affairs program. Steve was interviewed by host Chris Bury on this growing transportation service and its impact on the taxi industry.
• In the March 13 issue of the Chicago Tribune, Steve was quoted in an article that reported on preliminary recommendations from a task force studying reform of the Chicago region's public transit system.
Fox News in February: Steve appeared on three separate television news reports in late February and discussed several transportation issues relevant to metropolitan Chicago and the nation. All appearances were aired by Chicago Fox Television news. Here's a breakdown of Steve's commentary.
• The announcement by President Obama of plans for $300 billion in federal dollars for transportation projects led to a February 27 Good Day Chicago interview, where Steve shared thoughts on the President's national transportation plan and regional issues like the increase in the number of potholes during this challenging winter.
• On February 24, Steve was interviewed for a report regarding merging the Chicago area's four transit agencies-- the CTA, Metra, Pace and the RTA -- into a single authority.
• During an afternoon live interview February 18 Steve responded to Chicago transportation questions that included: Metra operating performance this winter, potholes and road issues caused by the cold and snow, and the proposal to expand two miles of the Kennedy Expressway just south of O'Hare airport.
Video Now Available of December Panel Discussion on Future of the Chicago RTA
On December 3, the UTC was proud to be a co-sponsor with our friends at the Great Cities Institute at UIC in a discussion titles, "The Future of the RTA and Regional Transportation Planning in the Chicago Metro Region." Five transportation experts, including UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman, participated in a lively give-and-take on the state of our transportation network. The discussion was moderat by GCI Director Teresa Córdova. Click here to connect to a video report of the discussion. And, click here to read Mr. Schlickman's letter to the co-chairs of the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force recommending creation of one regional Chicago transit authority.
The CN and UIC/UTC Partnership: Three Year Summary Report
In May of this year, the Urban Transportation Center completed projects tied to a very productive and exciting three-year CN-sponsored funding program called the CN Stronger Communities Fund. The CN-sponsored program provided $300,000 in funding that allowed us to do the following:g:
Click here for more details on how the CN Stronger Communities Fund benefitted the UTC, its faculty and student researchers and the transportation industry. And, read Steve Schlickman's thoughts in the Fall 2013 issue of the Connector newsletter.
High-Speed Rail (HSR) Preliminary Feasibilty Study Released, Next Step to 220 mph Service
The final report of a feasibilty study for building a high-speed rail (HSR) passenger network connecting Chicago with Urbana/Champaign, St. Louis and even Indianapolis recently was released by the University of Illinois. Researchers from the Urban Transportation Center at UIC and Urbana/Champaign campus collaborated on the HSR study, which was commissioned by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Click here for the Executive Summary, or click here for the Executive Report.
Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's 2012 UIC Interview