The Prairie Stone Transportation Management Association, servicing the Prairie Stone Business Park in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, includes Sears Corporate Headquarters and other regional businesses and a member of the Business Leaders for Transportation Coalition. We are writing to support the increase in transportation funding in the TEA 03 reauthorization and that the formula be re-evaluated so that it places a greater value on projects of national significance. Because northeastern Illinois is the transportation hub of North America, it serves not only the rapidly growing Chicago metropolitan area, but every major north-south and east-west trade corridor. While increased funding helps our economy, Illinois isn't the only beneficiary when our transportation network is well funded.
Our transportation network is key to the nation's ability to move people and goods because of its geographic location. Five of the nation's interstate highways traverse Illinois; the Chicago region serves as the nation's rail hub, and Illinois is one of the nation's major inter-modal centers.
Additionally, the metropolitan Chicago area has been the third worst congested region in the nation for six years running. According to the Texas Transportation Institute the amount of time Chicago area motorists experience congestion has increased from 4.5 hours per day in 1982 to 7.8 hours per day in 2002. A recent survey by CATS (the Chicago Area Transportation Study) indicated that an average commuter spends 46% of its commute time in congestion. Congestion is significantly hindering business's access to prospective employees and its movement of goods and services. This congestion also causes delay in the interstate movement of goods by rail and by freight.
Reauthorization of the TEA 21 legislation should include additional funding for transportation generally AND increase Illinois' share of the national total.