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Research Project

Increasing Mobility Through Enhanced Transit Connectivity

A review of the changing world of transit in the region, including several public transit innovations, emerging technology, explosive growth of rideshare services and the possible impact of autonomous vehicles.

The research for this paper has been guided by this goal: everyone in the Chicago area should have integrated, ubiquitous and affordable mobility options, while public and private resources are used efficiently and effectively toward that end.

Principal Investigator
LaBelle, James
Research Area(s)
Data Development
Policy Analysis
Funding Source
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)


The Chicago metropolitan area has one of the most extensive public transit systems in the United States, yet there are many places in the region where people do not have convenient access to transit service. Current transit funding is not even adequate to maintain the existing system, much less expand transit to all of the areas that are underserved. To address the deficiencies, this paper identifies practical ways to give more travel options to people in areas that are underserved by transit, including people who are unable to own or rent a car or have physical limitations that prevent them from driving. Although limited funding is a major challenge, it can also stimulate creative approaches to enhance mobility without major capital investments. This paper identifies innovative uses of technology, partnerships, tailored services, policies and organizational steps that might be practically applied to enable more people to move about easily and efficiently without needing to own a car. It considers methods of connecting and improving transit that have been successful in other places, and ways to make the most of new and emerging technology-enabled services. It proposes policies and actions to broaden the role of transit organizations to be mobility agencies and create an integrated network of mobility services.Download the "Increasing Mobility Through Enhanced Transit Connectivity" study.