Funding for transportation research conducted by the Urban Transportation Center comes from a wide range of federal, state, local and private sources. It is through these commitments with our funding partners that allows the UTC to continue its mission to complete valuable transportation research that enhances the environment for stakeholders in metropolitan Chicago, throughout Illinois and nationwide. Below are some regular funding sources of UTC research.
Illinois Department of Transportation
Through the Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative (METSI), UTC researchers can direct energies into current and emerging urban transportation issues and continue projects already in process. Current projects funded through METSI include:
- Freight and Built Environment — A study to better understand parking and traffic problems in urban areas with a high density of delivery trucks.
- Public Transit to Public Lands — Research conducted in partnership with the Cook County Forest Preserve District to provide transit opportunities to nature centers for low-income families.
- Online Tool for Computing and Presenting Regional Accessibility Measures — A project to develop innovative metrics for measuring multimodal accessibility that will be used by planners.
- A Prioritization Framework to Improve Resource Allocations for Bike and Pedestrian Facilities — Development of a comprehensive framework to prioritize projects geared to walking and cycling.
- Stakeholder Decision Support Tool for Transit Planning — Research to expand existing planning tools to make results more relevant for business location decisions.
- Technology for Blind or Visually Impaired Pedestrians to Cross Streets Safely — The objective: Develop technology that would assist visually impaired pedestrians.
CN Stronger Communities Fund
In early 2014, the Urban Transportation Center completed important industry research and activities underwritten by the CN Stronger Communities Fund, a community investment initiative administered by the Class 1 Canadian railway. The three-year CN-sponsored program provided $300,000 in funding that allowed us to do the following:
- Convene transportation decision makers for a day-long multimodal transportation systems conference.
- Offer fellowships to students within the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs that let them conduct specialized research.
- And, provide matching dollar-for-dollar research support to launch four new freight rail-focused studies.
On behalf of the UTC faculty, staff and students, we applaud CN for its commitment and support in helping the UTC break new ground on freight research and education. Through the CN Stronger Communities Fund grant, a truly diverse range of activities was carried out.
Other UTC Research Sponsors
These organizations have provided the Urban Transportation Center with research support over the years.
- The Chicago Transit Authority
- Community Transportation Association of America
- Illinois Tollway Authority
- Regional Transportation Authority
- Metra Rail
- Pace Suburban Bus Service
- Universidad Nacional de Colombia and World Bank
- U.S. Department of Transportation
National Transportation Consortia
The UTC also participates in two US DOT national transportation research consortia:
Grants are used to fund collaborative research in the areas of public transportation, rail engineering and technology, and freight and infrastructure.
The Center also is a member of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC), established in 1979 by the major transportation research centers and institutes to provides a forum to interact collectively with government and industry.