Systemwide Information for Transportation Assessment: Economic Impacts and ITS Deployment Planning

In this study focused on the Chicago area, a study of macro-level benefits of the regional economy will be conducted, using a simulation model such as REMI or other econometric methods. The study will integrate regional planning models with a model of the economy and a Geographic Information System to develop a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS).  Impacts can be broken down benefits by sub-areas of the Chicago metropolitan area, type of vehicle (passenger car versus truck), type of driver (and trip) and aspects of the economy (expressed in terms of growth in relevant industry and occupation).


Principal Investigator(s):

Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah


Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah




The major goals of ITS in the Northeastern Illinois area are to improve safety, improve service level (efficiency), reduce energy and environmental impact, enhance productivity, and improve mobility. The major methodology employed in all levels of government is Cost-Benefit Analysis, which implies that both benefits and costs need to be quantified in order to determine the merit of the policy and the project, can be complicated. If benefits are not exhaustedly quantified, there is a possibility that the outcome will be misleading. This study will develop a methodology to conduct a holistic approach to linking ITS deployment scenarios in regional transportation plans with a complete economic impact. Using this tool, the six-county Northeastern Illinois region will be studied.


Traditional cost-benefit analysis may be incomplete. Economic growth or productivity impacts, which are an important element of economic benefits, have hardly been measured. As a result, this study aims to respond to the questions regarding whether or not there is significant contribution of ITS deployment on economic productivity growth at a regional scale. A recent Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative (METSI) study, where the macro-level economic benefit of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) was studied, will serve as precedent.

Expected Results or Products:

A tool to estimate the economic impacts of deploying ITS on the Chicago-area regional economy.

NOTE: A report or paper from this research is not immediately available.


P.S. Sriraj
Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 South Peoria Street, Suite 340
Chicago, IL 60607
Voice: (312) 996-4713
Fax: (312) 413-0006





Federal Highway Administration





Illinois Department of Transportation