Final in 2003 Series; Discusses Transportation Issues Vital to Area Businesses
Recognizing that the business community
is uniquely qualified to influence federal transportation policy, Business
Leaders for Transportation hosted a series of five forums in 2003 that brought
together members of the Illinois congressional delegation and their area
business leaders to rally around key changes to the distribution formula, and
identify transportation investment priorities.
Today’s breakfast at CenterPoint Properties in Oak
Brook featured U.S. Reps. Henry Hyde (R-Addison) and Judy Biggert (R-Clarendon
Hills), and DuPage County Board Chair Robert Schillerstrom.
“The federal government
gave Illinois $931 million for highway and street improvement projects in
Rest assured that I will do
everything I can to build on those improvements by making sure Illinois gets its
fair share in the reauthorization,” said Rep. Hyde.
about northeastern Illinois’ transportation network are startling. The region
has the second largest transit network and third largest interstate network in
the nation. It also hosts the third busiest intermodal hub in the world, which
is the fifth most congested in the country. All of this leaves local commuters
to waste an average of 61 extra hours a year just sitting in traffic.
Businesses, which represent individual and commercial transportation users, have
a particular interest in how Illinois fares under TEA-3, the next federal
fights traffic every day can tell you Illinois is not getting its fair share
of transportation dollars back
Washington,” said Rep.
threatens economic growth in my district and could impede commercial development
if we don't provide some relief.”
“We’re proud of DuPage
county’s healthy business climate, and we’re committed to making sure that
transportation helps support it,” said Schillerstrom.
"We don’t give roads and
transit much thought until we have a truck stuck in traffic, or a good worker
who is chronically late because he has no reliable way to get to work,” said
Michael Fergus, president of SIRVA
“I’m glad the
representatives and Chair Schillerstrom recognize that, and that they’re here
with us today.”
“Business Leaders for Transportation believes
strongly that the federal government needs to return to a needs-based funding
formula, and provide the necessary resources for a better connected, intermodal
system for northeastern Illinois,” said Ed King, director of Government and
Community Relations for Walgreens, and chair of the Transportation Committee of
the Metropolitan Planning Council, which co-leads Business Leaders for
Transportation with Chicago Metropolis 2020 and the Chicagoland Chamber of
Commerce, outlined the coalition’s recommendations for TEA-3. “An informed and
active business community is key to ensuring that Illinois’ transportation needs
Today was the last of five forums Business Leaders
for Transportation has hosted around the region this fall to bring together the
business community and local congressional leaders. Previous events were held in
Evanston, Joliet, South Holland, and Hoffman Estates, with U.S. Reps. Jan
Schakowsky (D-Evanston), Jerry Weller (R-Joliet), Jesse Jackson, Jr.
(D-Chicago), and Mark Kirk (R-Deerfield). Additional forums are being planned
for early in 2004.
The event was co-sponsored by Burlington Northern
Santa Fe Corp., CenterPoint Properties, DuPage County, DuPage Mayors &
Managers Conference, Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Road and
Transportation Builders Association, Lemont Area Chamber of Commerce, Lisle Area
Chamber of Commerce, Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, Orland Park Area
Chamber of Commerce, Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, Transportation For Illinois
Coalition, Union Pacific Railroad, and Walgreens.
Business Leaders for Transportation, a
coalition of nearly 180 members representing more than 12,000 regional
employers, provides a collective voice for Chicago-area businesses on surface
transportation issues. Of central importance to the coalition is increased state
and federal transportation funding for northeastern Illinois, supported by
coordinated planning to achieve the most efficient and desirable return on
transportation system investments.