Ranking Northeast Illinois New Starts Transit Potential Expansion for Metra and CTA

This report reviews the programs and policies of the United States Department of Transportation's (USDOT’s) project selection and evaluation process to fund new capital-intensive projects in the transportation sector. The Federal formula programs administered and overseen by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are the basis for this review. Within the federal formula funding programs, the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) is the primary funding program assigned for transit capital investments like heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars, bus and other rapid transit projects. There are over 70 projects across the nation under the CIG program. According to an American Public Transportation Association (APTA) study (2013), as of 2010, 78 rail systems were operating in the US, with ridership growing 36% between the years of 1995 to 2012. It is interesting to note that the growth in transit seems to be happening alongside a depletion of transit funds and even in instances that funding was received, they seemed to have come from appropriations and not from flex funding sources. The APTA study also specifically discusses “pipeline” projects, in which projects have obtained a status of preliminary engineering or higher. This helps to materialize the current state of new start funding allocations and project future trends. To provide a better understanding of how the CIG program works, this report traces the origins and history of the evolution of this funding program at the federal level, combined with a review of the program’s administration across different metropolitan areas around the country. A series of semi-structured telephone interviews was conducted to catalog and understand the project prioritization process at the local level leading to selection of candidate projects for FTA CIG consideration from each of these regions. It is expected that this report will provide an insight into the complexities associated and embedded in the project prioritization and selection process both at the regional and federal levels. The report is expected to be used as a guide and a resource for applicants to the CIG Program.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Alternate title: A Review of Capital Improvement Grant Program and the Need for a Uniform Project Selection Process. This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Illinois, Chicago

    Urban Transportation Center
    412 Peoria Street, Suite 340
    Chicago, IL  United States  60607-7036

    Illinois Department of Transportation

    2300 S. Dirksen Parkway
    Springfield, IL  United States  62764

    National Center for Transit Research

    Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida
    4202 East Fowler Avenue, CUT 100
    Tampa, FL  United States  33620

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Sriraj, P S
    • Snow, Jordan
    • Kane, Jenny
    • Wilberding, Jane
    • Ganesh, Divyanga
  • Publication Date: 2017-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 40p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01644098
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UIC 2117-9050-02-C
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2017 6:11PM