Joining a list of speakers that included presidents and directors of organizations such as the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, Pace and the Iliinois Tollway, Glen Weisbrod addressed the strategic importance of investment in public transportation.
“Too often”, he noted, “analysts over-simplify the value of this investment in terms of mobility and travel time benefits. In fact, they may affect regional productivity and economic competitiveness through changes in business access to specialized labor skills, connections tying together specialized research and business clusters, and improvements in freight movement (through road congestion reduction).” Through real world examples, Weisbrod also showed how economic development impacts can depend on integration of complementary bus, rapid transit, commuter rail and intercity rail services.
The annual event is named for former Congressman William O. Lipinski of Chicago, who hosted the symposium. The event was organized by Joseph Schofer, Director of Northwestern’s Infrastructure Technology Institute (ITI), which sponsored the symposium.