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Providing Integrated Solutions to Today’s Transportation Challenges

 

Since 1979 The UTC Has Delivered Innovative Research and Education to Solve Real-World Transportation Problems

 

The Urban Transportation Center (UTC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is dedicated to conducting research, inspiring education and providing technical assistance on urban transportation planning, policy, operations and management. The strategic goal of UTC transportation research is to promote liveable communities throughout the nation. We specialize in these four core clusters of transportation research:

 

  • Transit planning, operations and management

  • Transportation funding and financing

  • Freight planning operations and management

  • Data Development for transportation planning and analysis

The UTC participates in three US DOT national transportation research consortia:

1) National Center for Transit Research 2) National University Rail Center (NURail) 3) National Center for Freight & Infrastructure Research & Education (CFIRE).

Grants are used to fund collaborative research in the areas of public transportation, rail engineering and technology, and freight and infrastructure.

 

 

LiveCAM: Circle Interchange Reconstruction

Keep track of progress on the Circle Interchange reconstruction by visiting the live camera feed hosted by the UTC with cooperation from IDOT. This view is of the Morgan Street bridge, which is scheduled to be elevated as one of the first major components of the four-year project. This view is limited to 20 viewers at a time. Please check back later if you don't see the live action.

 

UTC Named Sub-Contractor on South Shore Extension Project

The Urban Transportation Center recently was named to be a sub-contractor on a team that will prepare an environmental impact study (EIS) for the planned extension of the South Shore commuter rail line, which serves Northwest Indiana. UTC researchers will work with AECOM, a global provider of architecture, design, engineering, and construction services. The decision to launch the EIS was announced March 28 by Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICYD), operator of the South Shore line. This news article provides more details.

 

UTC Executive Director Comments on Local, National Transportation Issues

 

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.

 

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.

 

Registration Now Open for Transport Chicago 2014 Conference at UIC

 

Registration is now open for the 29th Annual Transport Chicago conference June 6 at the UIC Student Center East. Early-bird registration runs through May 23, so register today and save. More than 200 transportation professionals from Chicago and beyond are expected to attend. Transportation companies and suppliers can still take advantage of great sponsorship opportunities. And, two tremendous featured speakers have been secured: Chris Wood, EVP at Dragados USA, and Finlay Graham, Director of Aviation at Ricondo & Associates.

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:

  • Convene transportation decision makers for a day-long multimodal transportation systems conference.

  • Offer fellowships to students within the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs that let them conduct specialized research.

  • And, provide matching dollar-for-dollar research support to launch four new freight rail-focused studies.

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.

 

Read the Fall 2013 Issue of the UTC Connector Newsletter

Download the latest issue of the Urban Transportaion Center newsletter. You'll learn about participation by UTC researchers at a symposium held at UIC and a railroad freight industry forum, get insight into 3-D spatial analytics and modeling, get a recap on the many events hosted this fall and much more.

UTC Researchers Lead Transportation Breakout Sessions at 2013 Rail Summit

UTC faculty researchers will led provocative Breakout Sessions October 25 at The Rail Summit 2013, a railroad forum for railroad leaders from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin held at the Union League Club of Chicago. The focus of the Summit was on the economic importance of short line railroads. Dr. Ning Ai delivered a presentation on the Environmental Assessment of Rail Infrastrucure in Illinois and Dr. Paul Metaxatos addressed Pedestrian and Bicyclist Warning Devices and Signs at Highway-Rail and Pathway-Rail Grade Crossings. Both presentations are based on research completed by the UTC earlier this year. The sessions were moderated by UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman.

 

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.

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Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative (METSI)  

The Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative, or METSI, is an ongoing program created in September 1999 with a grant from Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). METSI continues to provide UTC with funding for research, and is crucial to both the breadth and depth of research topics that UTC faculty, staff and students undertake. These topics include Transportation Planning, Land Use and Economic Impact of Transportation, Operations, Management and Finance, and Traffic Engineering.

 

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's 2012 UIC Interview

Former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was interviewed by UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman during the annual UIC Urban Forum, held Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum Building. LaHood was the keynote speaker at the forum. The interview event featuring LaHood and Schlickman was titled “MAP-21 and What’s Next for Urban Transportation Funding: A Conversation with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Among conversation topics, LaHood discussed the transportation funding issues that are impacting the economies and social networks of metropolitan regions today.

 

The Urban Transportation Center at UIC in the News

February 2014

• 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 planand regional issues like the increase in potholes during this challenging winter.

 

On February 24, Steve Schlickman was interviewed by Fox 32 Chicago TV 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, UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman responded to Chicago transportation questions on Fox 32 Chicago TV. Questions 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.

 

January 2014

Local media continued to seek insight from Executive Director Steve Schlickman regarding the challenges faced at Metra. Here Steve was quoted on the search for a permanent Metra chair in an article from the January 30 Chicago Tribune. And, Steve was among the undersigned in a January 28 letter to the Chicago Sun-Times that supported the proposed Ashland Avenue Bus Rapid Transit system.

Executive Director Steve Schlickman offered insight into the prospect of an audit of Metra in an editorial that appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times.

 

December 2013

Executive Director Steve Schlickman was quoted in two articles published in the Daily Herald. On December 16, he was asked to comment on the growth in the number of severance agreements at the RTA, and on December 18, his thoughts were included in a piece on the RTA's appointment of a new interim Executive Director.

 

October 2013

Executive Director Steve Schlickman sent a letter recommending creation of one regional Chicago transit authority to the co-chairs of the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force.

 

September 2013

Havan Surat, Research Transportation Planner/Analyst, had an article on the value of 3-D spatial analytics and modeling published in Arc News, an online and print publication of ESRI, a leader in the development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

 

September 2013
Executive Director Steve Schlickman provided commentary on the proposed Ashland Ave. Bus Rapid Transit service during a news segment aired September 17 on WLS-TV News Channel 7.

 

August 2013

Executive Director Steve Schlickman offered insight on the RTA and Metra controversies as a panelist on the WTTW Channel 11 August 6 edition of "Chicago Tonight."

 

July 2013

Siim Soot, professor emeritus and researcher, was quoted in a WLS Channel 7 report on bicycle safety and mounting cameras on handlebars to capture footage of accidents.

 

June 2013

Executive Director Steve Schlickman was mentioned by CBS 2 on June 27 as being a supporter of the plan for reconstruction of the Circle Interchange.

 

Executive Director Steve Schlickman is quoted in a June 26 Daily Herald article on the possibility of the Regional Transportation Authority intervening to limit the cost of the severance agreement between Metra and its CEO, Alex Clifford..

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Executive Director Steve Schlickman appeared as a panelist on WTTW 11's "Chicago Tonight" on June 24, discussing the severance agreement between Metra and its CEO, Alex Clifford. Schlickman is the former director of the Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees Metra, Pace, and the CTA.

 

Executive Director Steve Schlickman is quoted in a June 24 Chicago Tribune article on the lack of transparency surrounding Metra's severance agreement with its former CEO, Alex Clifford. The article follows a June 23 story, in which Schlickman is also quoted, on whether Clifford should be a transportation professional or politician.

 

 

 

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