Transportation evolves to respond to the development of new networks and modes, enhanced technology and improvements in safety, ongoing demands for funding and financing and many other factors. Since its inception, the Urban Transportation Center has been a source for Chicago-area, regional and national media on a broad range of developments in transportation. Below access recent news reports featuring UTC research faculty and news stories produced by the Center on completed studies.
UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj Quoted by City Monitor and Time Out Chicago
City Monitor and Time Out Chicago | December, 2020
Even With Stimulus, US Mass Transit faces a Death Spiral
City Monitor, an online outlet covering urban policy, quotes Dr. Sriraj in a report on the challenges public transit agencies are facing now and potentially in the future, even with stimulus funding from Congress. Read the report published December 21 from Jake Blumgart.
What's the Future of Public Transit in Chicago
In a Time Out Chicago article on the post-pandemic future of transit in Chicago, Dr. Sriraj says transit agencies need to think beyond buses and trains to meet transit needs and consider alternative mobility options. Read the report from December 21 written by Emma Krupp.
Pandemic May Lead to Drastic Cuts in Public Transit
Sinclair Broadcast Group | December 2020
Transit agencies across the nation will have challenges maintaining a basic operating schedule in the near future unless Congress offers financial support. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj offered that comment in an article just published by the Sinclair Broadcast Group on the impact of the pandemic on public transit.The report by Stephen Loiaconi also provides insight from transit agency leaders, the American Public Transportation Association, and other transportation leaders. Read the report.
New York and the Crisis in Mass Transit
Financial Times | November 19, 2020
Channel 2 News | October 14, 2020
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in steep declines in ridership on public transit across Chicago. On October 12, UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj contributed to a CBS Channel 2 News report by investigative reporter Megan Hickey regarding the decline in crime on Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses. The report aired during the 5 p.m. newscast. Visit this link to view the segment.
Streetsblog | September 25, 2020
On September 25, digital news source Streetsblog Chicago published a report on the UTC Seminar Series webinar presentation, "Changes in Mobility Options and Patterns in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic." Reporter Cameron Bolton chronicled the discussion held September 17 and incorporated presentation slides into the report.Read the article, "CMAP, ATA, and CDOT discuss pandemic transportation challenges, and the way forward."
Chicago Population Declines, But Traffic Is Up: What Gives?
WBBM News Radio | March 3, 2020
Siim Sööt, former director of the UTC, discusses a white paper he co-authored with P.S. Sriraj that seeks to understand the influence of the current economy on traffic patterns.
Project Delays Cause More Backups, Frustration on Jane Byrne Interchange
WTTW - Chicago Tonight | February 11, 2020
Phil Ponce interviews UTC Director P.S. Sriraj; Eric Ray, senior resident engineer for the Illinois Department of Transportation; and Mary Wisniewski, transportation reporter for the Chicago Tribune, about the challenges facing the Jane Byrne Interchange project.
Byrne Circle Reconstruction
Chicago Tribune | February 9, 2020
The massive reconstruction of the Byrne Circle Interchange will cost significantly more than originally projected. In a report published in the February 9 edition of the Chicago Tribune, UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj shares insight why its challenging to estimate costs of major highway projects.
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Chicago’s Maritime Future. What’s the outlook for the Port of Chicago? That topic was tackled in a December 26 editorial published by the Chicago Sun-Times. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj and former Executive Director Steve Schlickman are referenced.
Developments in the Hyperloop. A feasibility study released in December provided new insight into the proposed Hyperloop high-speed rail network connecting Chicago with Cleveland and Pittsburgh to the east. On December 16, online source IdeaStream released a report that sourced transportation experts, including UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj.
Package Delivery Solutions. As noted in this November 26 article from Forbes magazine, next-day package delivery can lead to congestion. The report by writer Khurram Mahmood includes a link to the 2015 “Off Peak Delivery” study produced by the UTC.
CTA Platform Safety. On August 5, CBS Channel 2 reporter Lauren Victory filed a report, “Riding Risk: Growing Problem of Track Trespassers.” UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj was interviewed for the report and offered commentary.
Port of Chicago. Plans are underway for a public/private partnership for the Port of Chicago. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj offers insight in this July 17 “Chicago Tonight” segment reported by Paris Schutz.
Independence Day Holiday Travel. The Independence Day holiday ushers in one of the busiest travel days of the year. So what was down the road for Illinois motorists? UTC Director Dr. Ps Sriraj offers thoughts and insight in this article from reporter Syd Stone published July 2 in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Our City 2049. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj joined transportation leaders Friday, May 3 at the “Our City 2049” panel discussion held as part of Germany Week, a celebration of culture and arts. Read this report from Streetsblog Chicago for a recap on topics addressed
Byrne Circle Interchange. In a March 5 investigative report, the Chicago Tribune cited factors behind the delay in completing the massive Jane Byrne Interchange project. One factor noted by the Illinois Department Transportation was the closing of CUPPA Hall at UIC in 2015 to repair structural damage. For additional insight, the investigative team sought insight from UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj.
O’Hare Express Service. Will Chicago’s next mayor approve the proposed express service from O’Hare to the Loop? UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj offers comments in a February 28 Reader article.
State of Infrastructure. Following news of a crack to a support beam on a Lake Shore Drive bridge, UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriarj shared insight on the state of infrastructure in Chicago and nationwide: CBS Channel 2 News for an Investigators report; the Chicago Tribune for a news story; an updated report from Channel 2; a report that aired on the WTTW “Chicago Tonight” program; a Chicago Tribune editorial; inclusion in a Tribune Spin news roundup. And, industry publication Paint Square referenced the Tribune report in a March 5 post.
In December, it was announced that completion of the Byrne Circle Interchange construction project would extend into 2022. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj was interviewed December 12 by WBBM Channel 2 News on the story.
Challenges facing the commuter rail system in metropolitan Denver was the subject of a December 11 article published in the Denver Post. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj offers insight in the report, written by reporter John Aguilar
Some Metra commuters must wait up to seven years to obtain a parking permit along the busy BNSF route. An October 20 article on this topic by reporter Erin Hegarty appeared in the Naperville Sun and included thoughts from UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj and other transportation sources.
Motorists and delivery vehicles sometimes ignore “No Parking” or “No Standing” restrictions along streets in downtown Chicago. To get a perspective on the impact, UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj was interviewed for a WBBM-TV Channel 2 News report aired October 2.
A July 2018 study on the impact of ride sharing services on traffic congestion prompted National Public Radio to air a report from Chicago. UTC Director Dr. Ps Sriraj offered insight into the report, “Ride-Hailing Services Add To Traffic Congestion, Study Says,” from correspondent David Schaper. Listen to the August 1 report.
The WBBM-TV Channel 2 News investigative team prepared a segment on Metra, Chicago’s commuter rail network, that aired May 10. Commentary was provided by UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj.
In April, the City of Chicago announced street resurfacing plans for 2018. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj offered thoughts in an interview with WBBM-TV Channel 2
Car2Go, a new car-sharing service that will debut in Chicago next month in selected neighborhoods, is the latest option designed to increase mobility options. In an article published April 2 in the Columbia Chronicle, UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj shares his thoughts on Car2Go.
In this February 13 article published by the Baltimore Sun, UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj offered thoughts on the practice of “slow zones” as a way to keep trains moving when existing infrastructure is in need of repair or replacement.
Large-scale transportation projects can change the “flavor” of a neighborhood. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj offered that comment in the article, “CTA proposes route for transportation desert,” a report published February 5 by the Columbia Chronicle on the proposal to extend the CTA Red Line rapid transit service south to 130th Street.
Is congestion pricing — a practice to charge drivers a toll to enter an express lane — the answer to help reduce congestion on metropolitan Chicago highways? The Columbia Chronicle asked UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj for his thoughts in a December 11 article from reporter Blaise Mesa.
The horrific attack on cyclists in New York City prompted the Columbia Chronicle to publish a report November 13 on bike safety along paths in Chicago. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj offered thoughts in the report written by Savannah Eaden.
Metra will hold public hearings this fall to address its budget and gain insight from the public on service. On November 1, UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj was interviewed by Jason Marck about Metra’s future during a live segment aired on the WBEZ radio program Morning Shift.
In fall, the Chicago Transit Authority announced it plans to replace fabric seating with hard-surface seating on some el cars and buses prompted a report from the Columbia Chronicle newspaper. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj was quoted by reporter Jackie Murray in the October 23 article; he noted that public transportation agencies are being responsive to passenger needs.
Future spending plans to improve transportation infrastructure in Illinois — such as the proposal to expand I-55 from the southwest suburbs to the city — must be totally transparent in order to advance. That was the perspective of UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj, as noted in a report published October 16 by the Illinois News Network. Reporter Cole Lauterbach produced the report.
Research co-authored by the UTC developed a framework to gauge the return on investment for inter-city high-speed passenger rail service. The report was released by the American Public Transportation Association. Learn more from this article posted October 5 in Metro magazine. And, a news article on the research also was published in the October 5 issue of Mass Transit magazine.
Hyperloop is a conceptional transportation mode that could transport people and products at very high speeds. On September 20, UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj shared insight on the concept during a segment of Chicago Tonight, the popular public affairs program aired on WTTW. View the Hyperloop segment, which was moderated by Brandis Friedman and included thoughts from Dr. Joe Schwieterman, Director of the Chaddick Institute at DePaul University.
A proposal from SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk to build a new high-speed rail network from O’Hare to the Loop generated lots of commentary. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj shared thoughts that appeared in a June 29 Crain’s Chicago Business commentary and during a July 5 segment broadcast on The 21st, public radio covering Illinois news.
In June, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced it would halt road construction projects given the Illinois budget impasse. Transport Topics magazine contacted Bob Ginsburg, UTC Research Assistant Professor, for comments.
Median planters were installed more than 20 years ago along busy Madison Street in Chicago’s West Loop. Now, there’s talk of having the planters removed. Reporter Eva Hofmann interviewed UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj for an article that appeared in the June 2 issue of the monthly Gazette newspaper.
Federal support for public transit infrastructure was the subject of an online article published April 5 in The Ringer, an online source for national news, culture and sports. UTC Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj shared insight for the article, written by staff writer Victor Luckerson.