As the geographic core of the Chicago region’s vast, nationally-significant freight network, Cook County’s roadways, rail lines, airports, and waterways annually handle over $1.5 trillion in goods weighing almost 700 million tons. Transportation planning and project prioritization in Cook County have significance for the entire country, with stakeholders from the local to the national level invested in improving freight mobility.
EBP (formerly EDR Group) is assessing the economic impacts of proposed freight transportation system improvements for the Cook County Department of Transportation as part of the County's first-ever Freight Plan. Using TREDIS fueled by TRANSEARCH, EBP is helping to ensure the County's freight improvement project prioritization benefits the economy as well as local traffic flow. Based on current data from 2015 as well as a 2040 forecast, EBP quantified commodity flows by weight to represent the physical demands on the freight system and by value to represent the economic importance of the commodities transported. In addition, EBP worked collaboratively with the County and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to analyze the future County and regional economic impacts of a set of different public freight infrastructure investment scenarios to support prioritization of projects and policies for the County’s new Freight Plan.