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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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July 22, 2014

White House Announces Build America Investment Initiative

The initiative will focus on innovative financing via collaboration between the private sector and state and local governments on public-private partnerships. Read More About White House Announces Build America Investment Initiative
July 22, 2014

Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library

Completed Local Technical Assistance projects and GO TO 2040-related work are highlighted in a new interactive map. Read More About Improved GO TO 2040 Case Study Library
July 16, 2014

New Report Describes Oregon Experience with Road Usage Fees

In 2013 Oregon enacted the nation's first road usage fee, following the completion of a pilot program. Read More About New Report Describes Oregon Experience with Road Usage Fees
July 15, 2014

Community planning proposals

CMAP received 104 applications were submitted by 77 different applicants to the LTA program. Read More About Community planning proposals
July 10, 2014

U.S. House Committee Marks Up Transportation Bill Extension

The Highway and Transportation Funding Act would provide $10.9 billion in transfers to the Highway Trust Fund. Read More About U.S. House Committee Marks Up Transportation Bill Extension
July 10, 2014

Comparing Municipal and Township Transportation Revenue Sharing in Illinois

While local motor fuel tax allotment criteria are uniform across the state, the road systems they serve are not. Read More About Comparing Municipal and Township Transportation Revenue Sharing in Illinois
June 26, 2014

Senate Finance Committee Weighs Short-Term MAP-21 Extension

The Preserving America's Transit and Highways Act (PATH) of 2014 would extend the nation's highway and transit programs through December 31, 2014. Read More About Senate Finance Committee Weighs Short-Term MAP-21 Extension
June 20, 2014

Two New Highway Trust Fund Proposals

New federal transportation proposals attempt to identify sustainable revenue sources as the HTF nears insolvency later this summer and MAP-21 is set to expire September 30, 2014. Read More About Two New Highway Trust Fund Proposals
June 18, 2014

Evaluation of State Transportation Revenue Sharing with Local Governments

This is the second in a series of three Policy Updates on the structure of transportation funding programs in Illinois, as well as the governance of the state and local highway system. Read More About Evaluation of State Transportation Revenue Sharing with Local Governments
June 13, 2014

Draft GO TO 2040 plan update available for public comment through August 1, 2014

Submit comments on-line and attend open house meetings throughout the region for the draft GO TO 2040 plan update and FFY 2014-19 Transportation Improvement Program. Read More About Draft GO TO 2040 plan update available for public comment through August 1, 2014
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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.


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.

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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