SOUTH COOK MOBILITY STUDY
Completed in May of 2019, the South Cook Mobility Study (SCMS) is a first step in developing a County-wide transit plan as recommended in the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. Over the course of decades, the loss of jobs within and near south Cook County combined with the growth of jobs in northern and western portions of the County has diminished access to jobs and other destinations (schools, stores, and entertainments). For south suburban residents, this more limited access is reflected in average round trip work commutes of nearly 24 miles—the longest in the County—and far fewer jobs accessible by car and transit within 30 and 45 minutes of home respectively. It is also reflected in declining ridership on the Metra Electric and the Rock Island districts, the only two lines in Metra’s system to lose ridership in the 16-year period from 2002 to 2017.
A core principle in the study is to maximize the use of existing transit infrastructure and to make transit services more seamless and complementary. The SCMS made an apples-to-apples comparison of several different proposed transit improvements to see which led to the greatest increase in ridership at the least cost. Based on input from transit agencies and community advocates, a few combined scenarios were analyzed and form the basis for a fare pilot which the County seeks to implement in the near future.
Connecting Cook County, Cook County’s Long Range Transportation Plan
LINCOLN HIGHWAY LOGISTICS CORRIDOR STRATEGIC PLAN
Completed in August 2018, the Lincoln Highway Logistics Corridor Strategic Plan analyzed how rail-adjacent, industrially zoned sites in Chicago Heights, Ford Heights, and Sauk Village could be developed for businesses that are dependent on rail service. Through this process, the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) worked with municipalities, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability, Cook County Bureau of Economic Development and its Department of Planning and Development, Cook County Land Bank Authority, Cook County Forest Preserve, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, and other stakeholders to identify and evaluate 21 sites for improvement. DoTH and its partners identified six priority redevelopment sites and produced a strategic plan describing the types of industries best suited for the Lincoln Highway Logistics Corridor and how stakeholders can position these sites to attract these industries.