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Strategic Investment

A 21st Century transportation system requires strategic investments that support economic growth and quality of life. The transportation network is one of our region's most important assets, key to our economic prosperity. While our transportation system enjoys a global reputation, it is aging quickly and falling behind other industrialized parts of the world.

Strategic Investment Updates

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May 12, 2015  

Infrastructure Week 2015

May 11-15, 2015, marks the third annual Infrastructure Week , which features events and advocates from across business, labor, and public policy highlighting the importance of infrastructure... Read More About Infrastructure Week 2015
May 5, 2015  

2016 joint call for planning projects

CMAP, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) released a call for local projects across metropolitan Chicago through the RTA ... Read More About 2016 joint call for planning projects
April 27, 2015  

Illinois Department of Transportation announces infrastructure tour

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has announced an infrastructure listening tour to "start a statewide conversation that lays the groundwork for a realistic, sustainable plan... Read More About Illinois Department of Transportation announces infrastructure tour
April 21, 2015  

Good Roads Day

On April 15, 2015, Illinois marked the 101 st anniversary of its inaugural Good Roads Day .  In mid-April 1914, Governor Edward F. Dunne "started the herculean task of pulling Illinois... Read More About Good Roads Day
April 14, 2015  

Stand Up 4 Transportation

CMAP, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, Pace, and other supporters around the nation are asking the U.S. Congress to pass a long-term surface... Read More About Stand Up 4 Transportation
April 7, 2015  

CMAQ/TAP project applications review

The call for projects for the FFY 2016-2020 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program and FFY 2015-2016 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) has closed, and... Read More About CMAQ/TAP project applications review
April 7, 2015  

U.S. Department of Transportation announces TIGER grant funding

Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced that $500 million will be made available through the seventh round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic... Read More About U.S. Department of Transportation announces TIGER grant funding
February 27, 2015  

Governor Releases FY16 Budget Proposal

This Policy Update analyzes Governor Rauner's budget FY16 proposal in light of CMAP and GO TO 2040 priorities. Read More About Governor Releases FY16 Budget Proposal
February 20, 2015  

CREATE Program Status Check

New Policy Update provides background information on the CREATE program, including its project portfolio, implementation status, and performance impacts. Read More About CREATE Program Status Check
February 20, 2015  

Rail Crossing Delays in Metropolitan Chicago

The region's dense rail network plays a key role in moving both goods and passengers, but imposes costs on local communities. A New Policy Update focuses on rail crossing delays. Read More About Rail Crossing Delays in Metropolitan Chicago
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Interactive Mobility Data Visualizations

Learn more through new, cutting edge mobility data visualizations on the metropolitan Chicago transportation system and how it can be strengthened through strategic investment.


Performance-Based Funding.  CMAP believes taxpayers will support investing in a transportation system that improves their quality of life. To accomplish this, Illinois needs to lead the national effort to implement performance-based funding of highway and bridge projects.

Adequate Transportation Funding. GO TO 2040 calls for the region to enhance its existing revenue streams and implement new revenue sources to support transportation investments needed to keep Illinois competitive in a global economy. In the short  term, the plan recommends increasing the state motor fuel tax by 8 cents and indexing the rate to an inflationary measure, followed by a replacement to the motor fuel tax in the long term.


Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ).  CMAP administers CMAQ, a federally funded program of surface transportation improvements. The current five-year program totals $582 million. To help implement GO TO 2040 through the CMAQ program, CMAP helps reviewers prioritize proposed projects based on how they support the goals and action areas of the regional plan.

Surface Transportation Program (STP).  Through its subregional Councils of Mayors (COMs), CMAP administers the region's STP.  COMs are defined by specific geographic boundaries, with six in suburban Cook County and one for each of the five collar counties. Each Council of Mayors receives an annual STP allocation and is responsible for programming those funds. Council projects must meet all federal eligibility requirements, including being located on a federal-aid eligible route, and must be sponsored and implemented by a local community within the council. 

Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).  With the passage of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), Congress created the new TAP to support non-motorized transportation. CMAP is using a competitive process to select projects to fund under this program.

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).  As metropolitan Chicago's agenda for surface transportation, the TIP lists all federally funded projects and regionally significant, non-federally funded projects programmed for implementation in the next four years.  The TIP helps both the transportation community and the general public track the use of local, state, and federal transportation funds in support of implementing GO TO 2040.


Construction Planning.  CMAP convenes transportation operators in the region and neighboring states to ensure that they are aware of, and can plan for, the impacts of each other's scheduled construction projects

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).  CMAP promotes the use of ITS, including a wide range of technologies that improve the movement of people and goods. The goal of ITS deployment is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transportation system through such actions as increasing traveler safety and reducing congestion. These tools improve the operations and management of our existing transportation facilities.

More About Strategic Investment

Achieving a modern, well-functioning system of roads and public transit simply makes good economic sense and is essential for a high quality of life. Businesses want efficient and effective transportation infrastructure, providing efficient movement of goods and access to a skilled workforce. Residents want transportation options and ready access to a variety of housing, employment, recreational, and other opportunities.

Our transportation system is critical to quality of life and to the Chicago region's competitive advantage. Yet in many ways the system is declining, which can be seen in worsening traffic congestion, cuts to public transit service, deferred maintenance on roads and bridges, and antiquated buses, trains, and stations. Some of this is simply inadequate investment in transportation infrastructure, but another part of it is excessive costs, narrow and short-sighted thinking about transportation investment decisions, and a lack of consensus about priorities. Learn more through new, cutting edge mobility data visualizations on the metropolitan Chicago transportation system and how it can be strengthened through strategic investment. 

To tackle these problems, the region needs to make strategic investments in the transportation system. The money we have must be spent more wisely, using performance-driven criteria rather than arbitrary formulas or politically-based calculations. Transportation implementers should prioritize projects that maintain and modernize the existing system, while expensive new capacity projects should be built only when the need is great. Examples of enhancements and modernizations that should be pursued include more attractive and comfortable buses and trains that improve the passenger experience, better traveler information systems, targeted transit extensions and arterial improvements, and multimodal approaches such as integrating bicycling and pedestrian accommodations in roadway design.

At the same time, additional funding is needed to bring our transportation system to world-class stature. Federal and state gas taxes, our traditional sources of transportation revenue, are losing their purchasing power to inflation as well as higher fuel efficiency standards. A long-term replacement for these sources is needed, and must provide enhanced revenues generated primarily by the users of the system.

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