UTC in the News — 2015

Here are links to news reports from 2015 that cite UTC researchers or research projects, as well as relevant news about the Center, its faculty researchers and graduate student assistants.

Three UIC students earned cash scholarship awards in the 2015 George Krambles Transportation Scholarship Awards competition. Visit this page to learn more and download the winning papers.

As the year 2015 came to a close, Chicago transportation writers reached out to UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman for thoughts on transportation in 2016. In this December 28 article, Steve told writer Marni Pyke of the Daily Herald the national transportation bill passed by Congress will help provide need infrastructure funding, but more money is needed. And, Steve was quoted in a December 30 article by reporter Rianne Coale of Redeye that the CTA is doing a great job at maintaining existing services, however, increased funds can help grow public transportation in Chicago.

Dr. P.S. Sriraj

Dr. P.S. Sriraj

Dr. P.S. Sriraj was appointed interim executive director of the Urban Transportation Center and will lead the research unit while a search committee resumes efforts to identify and secure a permanent replacement. The decision was announced in early December by Dr. Michael A. Pagano, dean of the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA).

A national organization rated the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago as the highway that causes the highest number of traffic delays. The best way to alleviate the congestion is through better public transportation options. That’s the opinion of UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman, who was quoted in this November 24 article published in the Chicago Tribune.

Schlickman politico.com

Steve Schlickman

In an October 22 piece on a “carless suburbia,” the online publication Politico featured an image of UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman and insight on his use of public transportation versus automobile.

The September/October issue of Mass Transit magazine includes a byline article by UTC Affiliate Faculty researcher Dr. Bo Zou on research that addresses the impact of shared use passenger and freight rail corridors. The article focused on the nearly 300 mile route between Chicago and St. Louis, which is being renovated to accommodate 110-mph high speed passenger service.

Sarah Taylor and Lynn Schneider gain valuable transportation experience through the UTC-managed IDOT internship program.

Sarah Taylor and Lynn Schneider participate in the UTC-managed IDOT internship program


Since February, two CUPPA students have helped guide future transportation policies, programs and practices in Illinois through an internship program at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The program, managed by the UTC, will train graduate students in areas that are critical to IDOT’s future workforce requirements. Read a news story about this initiative.

Real estate developers in metro Boston may be required to pay a fee to help fund improvements to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Kendall/MIT station. The Boston Globe sought insight on this funding practice, know as value capture, from UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman, who is quoted in this September 9 article from writer Tim Logan.

Dr. P.S. Sriraj was appointed in July to the new position of Director of Research at the UTC. Read a news story to learn more.

Office towers and other commercial real estate properties directly benefit from proximity to transit stations. In a post published July 23 in The Source, an online publication of the National Association of Realtors®, UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman shares insight on the use of value capture as a way commercial property developers can help fund new or expanded public transit.

During his long career in transportation, UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman worked in many facets of the industry. In fact, Steve’s first transportation job was as a bus driver while studying at Georgetown University. This Member Profile, published June 30 in Passenger Transport, the official publication of the American Public Transportation Association, provides more details.

Dr. Bo Zou

Dr. Bo Zou

The impact of passenger and freight trains sharing a corridor was the subject of a Next City article June 19 from a model developed by UTC affiliated faculty researcher Dr. Bo Zou. The resulting research report, funded through the METSI initiative, will help quantify the costs and benefits to passenger and freight traffic of upgrading the Chicago-St. Louis freight corridor for 110-mph passenger service.

A federal judge ruled that an environmental impact study on the proposed Illiana Tollway was not valid, leading to speculation that the controversial project will be taken off the table. Richard Wronski of the Chicago Tribune sought input from UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman and filed a report June 16.

What’s it like to have a CTA rapid transit “L” train right up close to where you live? In early June, WBEZ-FM reported on this subject and included quotes fro UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman. Steve’s comments can be heard in this audio report from reporter Meribah Knight; catch his comments from 2:35 to 3:07 on the report, which includes commentary from people who have the “L” as a neighbor.

With summer approaching, more people will take to the roads. In the May 18 issue of the Daily Herald, reporter Marni Pyke polled transportation experts on poor driving behaviors. UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman offered his thoughts.

The appointment of Dorval Carter, Jr. as the new president of the Chicago Transit Authority made big news in Chicago. UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman was quoted in a May 5 article from Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business on the need for the CTA to address future financing and the prospect of a fare hike.

Dr. Siim Sööt

Dr. Siim Sööt

Dr. Siim Sööt, the former head of the UIC Department of Geography and director of the Urban Transportation Center from 1998 to 2000, recently was appointed by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the state’s Expert Sound Transit Review Panel (ST3) to oversee that proposed expansion of the public transportation system in the Seattle Metro area. Dr. Sööt, who served as chair of the previous ST2 panel, will put his expertise to help guide a proposed expansion of the Seattle Metro public transportation system. Learn more about Seattle’s ST3 plan.

A news article published April 6 by Next City on value capture financing for transportation projects incorporated the recent UTC value capture research and insight from UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman.  The article was written by Josh Cohen.  Headquartered in Philadelphia, Next City is a a non-profit organization that addresses urban issues.

In a WBEZ-FM report aired March 26, Dr. P.S. Sriraj, UIC Associate Professor and Director of the METSI program, offered insight on recent Census Bureau findings regarding the migration ofpeople out of Illinois.  Dr. Sriraj noted that access to employment, lower crime rates and better education are reasons why people of lower income move from the city center to the suburbs. Listen to the audio report.

New York is exploring the use of value capture financing for a major mixed-use development over a rail yard in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens.  UTC Executive Director Steve Schlickman was quoted in this article from the March 24 issue of City & State magazine on the prospect of using value capture in Chicago.

Recent UTC research on the use of value capture to help fund transit was cited in an online report published by GlobeSt.com March 20. Reporter Brian J. Rogal quoted UTC Executive Director Stephen E. Schlickman, who said the use of value capture practices could benefit transit improvements in Chicago.

A proposed reduction of $170 million in state support for the CTA, Pace and Metra was proposed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.  UTC Executive Director Stephen E. Schlickman shared his opinion in a March 19 article written by Rosalind Rossi and published in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Research conducted into transportation, housing and human services needs for older adults in Illinois was tackled in a March 1 report from Jamey Dunn published in Illinois Issues.  The research report was completed by a team at the UIC Voorhees Center in conjunction with the UTC.

Massive cuts to Chicago area transit agencies were proposed by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in a presentation to the state legislature February 18. Transportation reporter Marni Pyke of The Daily Herald reached out to UTC Executive Director Stephen E. Schlickman for his thoughts on the planned transit funding cutbacks.

The UTC will be part of a research team studying how transit systems in Chicago and other major cities can best cope with emergencies like massive snowstorms or flooding.  In February, the Federal Transit Administration awarded Argonne National Laboratory a $2.9 million federal grant to lead the study.  Read this report from the Chicago Tribune for details.

UTC in the News — 2014

Please click on this link to read about UTC news from 2014.