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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:19pm
Mon Feb 9

Report: Chicagoans Have Access To 'Abundant' Tech-Driven Transportation Options

Out of the nation's 70 largest cities, a recent report ranks Chicago as the 14th best when it comes to the availability of "technology-enabled" transportation tools and options that make it easier for people to travel without owning a vehicle.

For its study, the Illinois PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group examined whether residents in the 70 U.S. cities have access to 11 various transportation technologies, including those used to hail taxis and share rides, cars and bicycles. Researchers also looked at the availability of real-time transit information; transit scheduling and routing data; multi-modal transit apps; and virtual transit ticketing, allowing riders to pay for fares via smartphones.

"None of these options even existed a few years ago, and the trend is just beginning," Abe Scarr, director of the Illinois PIRG Education Fund, said in a statement. "Technological advances are giving people new and convenient ways to get around more freely without having to own a car."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:18pm
Tue Sep 2, 2014

Housing Needs Grow For An Aging America; Low-Income Illinoisans Struggle To Find Affordable Rentals

Progress Illinois takes a look at two recently-released housing reports. One highlights the growing housing needs of America's aging population, while the other examines the shortage of affordable rental units available for low-income households at the state and national levels.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:39pm
Fri Jul 18, 2014

Report: U.S. Lags Behind Other Nations On Energy Efficiency

The United States is lagging behind many other nations in terms of energy efficiency, according to a new scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The ACEEE's second edition of its "International Energy Efficiency Scorecard" ranks the United States 13 out of 16 leading world economies analyzed for policies and performance on energy efficiency. The 16 economies cover more than 81 percent of global gross domestic product and 71 percent of global energy consumption.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:56am
Mon Jul 14, 2014

Study: Vegetarian & Low Meat Diets Can Help Mitigate Climate Change

Eating less meat or none at all has the potential to significantly shrink an individual's diet-related carbon footprint and "can make a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation,"according to a recent study published in the journal Climatic Change.

The study examined the diets of 29,589 meat eaters, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 pescatarians (vegetarians who eat fish) and 2,041 vegans between the ages of 20 to 79 in the United Kingdom. Participants took a "food-frequency questionnaire" asking how often in the last year they consumed 130 different food items. Researchers were able to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat and warm up the planet, associated with the various foods.

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
5:12pm
Mon Jun 16, 2014

Chicago Bike Week Highlights The City's Growing Love For Biking Over Driving

This year's Chicago Bike Week will be the biggest ever, experts say, thanks to greater public awareness, higher parking meter rates and gas prices, declining car ownership and more biking infrastructure in the city. Chicago Bike Week 2014 kicked off June 13 and runs through June 20.

The number of people biking to work tripled between 2000 and 2012, according to a report by the Active Transportation Alliance, a non-profit organization that encourages alternative transportation. And increasingly bike trips are utilitarian in nature, including trips to grocery stores and other errands, the study showed.

“Chicago’s new biking infrastructure like the new cutting edge bike lanes and Divvy bike sharing program have played an important role in making biking a more welcoming alternative for more people,’’ said Ted Villaire, communications director for the alliance, known as ActiveTrans. “Certainly, strong support from the city of Chicago has made a difference in getting more people to try out biking.’’