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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:58pm
Tue Jan 13, 2015

Garcia Talks Public Transit, TIF & Red Light Cameras At U Of C

At a Monday night talk at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics, Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia reiterated his support for scaling back the city's red light camera and tax increment financing (TIF) programs as well as his desire to boost investments in public transportation. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the discussion.

Quick Hit
by Robert William Kingett
10:24pm
Thu Oct 30, 2014

Op-Ed: Google Car Could Give The Blind More Independence While Saving Illinois Millions

If I want to go anywhere in Chicago, my methods of transportation are very limited. For someone who's blind and has cerebral palsy, taking public transit is beyond difficult.

In order for me to go to the movies, on a date with a gorgeous guy, to interview someone for a journalistic endeavor, or to go to school, I have to pay $6 a day, $180 a month, or $2,190 a year to ride Chicago's Paratransit system. That isn't even a fraction of the costs for PACE to operate the Paratransit system. But why do I care? I'm just a consumer, right?

I'm not just a consumer, I'm a blind journalist in Chicago who's advocating for getting a law passed that would allow autonomous cars to drive on the streets of Illinois, breaking my dependence down to zero, and also saving the state billions of dollars on Paratransit cars. There's a solution to all of my independent transportation problems bundled with a nifty solution for state costs. That solution is what's commonly referred to as the Google car.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:59pm
Tue Sep 30, 2014

Public Interest Group Urges Against 'Wasteful Spending' On Illiana Expressway

An Illinois public interest organization is raising concerns about the proposed Illiana Expressway, saying the privatized toll road that would serve mainly as a trucking corridor "may charge tolls too high to attract trucks, and will likely require hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies."

The Illiana Expressway, a public-private partnership endeavor, is cited as one of 11 highway "boondoggles" across the country in a new report by the Illinois PIRG Education Fund, which is calling on "decision makers to reprioritize scarce transportation dollars to other projects."

The report highlights the proposed 47-mile Illiana tollway, which would connect I-55 in Illinois to I-65 in Indiana, as an example of "wasteful highway spending based on its outdated assumptions of ever-increasing driving."

"The Illiana Expressway is based on the presumption that traffic in the 18 county region affected by the road will increase by .92 percent annually between 2010 and 2040, as measured in total vehicle miles traveled (VMT)," the Illinois PIRG Education Fund noted. "However, that is more than double the annual rate of increase from 2001 and 2010 (.42 percent). And, since 2010, VMT in the region has been down .49 percent annually."

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