Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative

The Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative (METSI) provides grants that fund current and emerging urban transportation research and technical assistance and education required by other Illinois transportation and planning agencies. METSI was created in 1999 by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). This ongoing source of funding gives the UTC the resources to find answers to some of the state’s most challenging transportation problems.

Through METSI, UTC faculty and staff, affiliated UIC faculty partners and graduate student researchers study these and other transportation issues:DSC_1960

  • Transportation efficiency and safety
  • Traffic congestion
  • Air quality
  • Economic development and smart growth

METSI funds provide an avenue for technical assistance in all areas of transportation to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), various IDOT departments and other Illinois planning and transportation agencies. The educational component includes workshops, conferences, training courses, presentations, seminars and webinars, as well as student education, assistantships, and development.

The current theme for METSI is “Livability and Sustainable Transportation.”

Recently completed research funded completely or party through METSI:

  • Transportation Needs for Older Adults in Illinois — Researchers presented population projections for the older adult population in Illinois and assessed housing, transportation, and mobility characteristics throughout Illinois to identify need and offered conclusions and recommendations for improvement.
  • Mapping Accessibility Online Tool — A new digital resource, the Metropolitan Chicago Accessibility Explorer, will give planners and policymakers a tool to better evaluate accessibility by four common transportation modes to many types of destinations in the urban environment.
  • Shared Use Rail Corridor — Learn about completed UTC research that led to development of a hypergraph based, two-level model that may help minimize the impact of delays resulting from shared passenger and freight rail corridors.

Specific projects currently underway include:

  • Transit Sustainability Indicators – A study to point out and understand the concepts of livability and sustainability, as well as indicators and associated factors.
  • Freight & Built Environment – Research that will analyze and understand truck parking problems in urban areas using truck parking violation records.
  • Volunteer Transportation Information System –A study of how to utilize crowd-sourcing technology to obtain real-time transportation information from travelers.

For more information on the program, please contact METSI Director Dr. P.S. Sriraj at 312-413-7568.