Building our Economy: Transportation for a New Illinois

Chicago Metropolis 2020, a business-backed civic organization promoting regional growth, recently released a new report titled, “Building Our Economy: Transportation for a New Illinois,” responding to the need for Illinois to develop a long-term transportation strategy relevant to the new economy occurring within the state’s borders. The report, which highlights transportation as a key driver of economic growth, job creation and social equity, outlines the clearly emerging characteristics of the Illinois economy and shows how they are impacted by transportation policies.

Based on research performed by EDR Group (now EBP) and Fregonese Associates, the report showcases how transportation policies can affect long-term employment and economic expansion. It also provides dozens of recommendations to guarantee future growth and job creation through carefully targeted public transportation investments. Some of the key recommendations include redesign and reinvestment in metropolitan Chicago’s transit system, the establishment of an Illinois Freight Authority to plan, fund, coordinate freight system improvements, and the creation of a statewide transit network that meets the needs of rural residents.

EDR Group contributed to the identification of the alternative transportation system by assessing where Illinois' future economy is headed, the role the state will play in domestic as well as global trade flows, and the potential transportation technology adoption that may prove strategic in positioning Illinois for future economic and population growth. The firm also provided an evaluation of job and population forecasts at the regional level for a base case and an alternative set of proposed investments. 

Below is selected press coverage that the study and report have received: