Strategic Investment overview

Strategic Investment

Northeastern Illinois needs to invest in maintaining and enhancing its roads, transit systems, bikeways, and sidewalks to keep up with demand and promote regional economic vitality. The public deserves safe and reliable transportation. As North America’s freight nexus, our region’s transportation network has long been our strategic advantage. Yet much of the system is in dire need of repair. Investing in it will provide residents with more options and reliability to get where they are going, and move goods more efficiently and safely through the region.


Transportation Funding

Regional Transportation Programs

Transportation Planning

Transportation funding

The State of Illinois approved a capital package in 2019, which increased funding for transportation through a number of revenue sources, including increasing the state’s motor fuel tax and indexing it to inflation. However, due to years of underinvestment, the need for repair, replacement, and modernization of just the existing system in northeastern Illinois remains significant. To guide discussions on transportation funding solutions, CMAP’s Board adopted principles for sustainable transportation funding:

  • We need a long-term solution that can adapt to emerging trends.
  • Costs should be paid by those who derive the most benefit from the system.
  • Revenue sources should consider the ability of users to pay.
  • Using performance-based criteria to select what is funded results in the very best projects being chosen regardless of mode.

ON TO 2050 recommends fully funding the region's transportation system with a variety of reliable sources over the long-term:


Transportation programming

CMAP guides the allocation of federal funds for transportation in northeastern Illinois by managing the following programs:

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ). CMAP administers CMAQ, a federally funded program of surface transportation improvements. To help implement ON TO 2050 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). The locally programmed TAP is a federally-funded program of surface transportation improvements designed to support non-motorized transportation. CMAP uses a competitive process to select and fund bicycle facility projects that help complete the Regional Greenways and Trail Plan.

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 ON TO 2050.

Transportation planning

Pavement management plans. As part of CMAP’s efforts to collect data on all federal-aid local jurisdiction roads in the region, the agency established a pilot program to offer engineering services to municipalities and townships to either initiate or update a local pavement management system. A pavement management plan can assists agencies to find the most cost effective way to address pavement needs and achieve pavement condition targets. Learn more about the pavement management program.

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). CMAP promotes the use of ITS, which include a wide range of technologies that improve the movement of people and goods. The goal of ITS deployment is to make our transportation system more efficient and effective through strategies such as increasing traveler safety and reducing congestion.

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