Transportation issues facing the state of Illinois are among society's most vexing problems. Transportation efficiency, safety, traffic congestion, air quality, economic development and smart growth are issues facing our urban areas. The Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative (METSI) at the Urban Transportation Center (UTC) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) brings together faculty, students, and transportation researchers to address these topical issues with the goal to provide thoughtful planning and problem-solving solutions.


METSI was created in September 1999 with a grant from Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). This Technical Work Program outlines the process to address current and emerging issues of urban transportation and to continue the projects already in process. Our purpose is to continue to conduct topical transportation research, undertake technical assistance and provide education and training to the state of Illinois, IDOT and other transportation and planning agencies in the state of Illinois.


The current theme for METSI is on Livability and Sustainable Transportation. Specific Projects are:

Development of Sustainability Indicators

Development of a Land Use Model Using Urbanism

Understanding the Impacts of Built Environment on Freight Delivery

Development of a Parking Guidance System

Demographic Analysis of the NE Illinois Region

METSI funds provide an avenue for technical assistance in all areas of transportation to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), IDOT departments, and other planning and transportation agencies. The educational component of the METSI program is comprised of workshops, conferences, training courses, presentations, seminars and webinars in addition to student education, assistantships, and development.   In addition, an annual Symposium is held which attracts attendees from the region and the midwest. Technical assistance recipients include Illinois Department of Transportation, Metra, the Regional Transportation Authority, Pace, CMAP, Cook County, Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, the Work Force Boards of Northeastern Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Peoria and the TMA of Lake Cook, among others. The METSI project also includes provisions for the administration and information dissemination outreach efforts to public and private sector organizations.


The faculty and staff providing the administration and research for METSI are as follows: Director, P.S. Sriraj, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor; Stephen Schlickman, UTC Executive Director; Siim Sööt, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emeritus; Paul Metaxatos, Ph.D., Associate Director for Research Programs and Research Assistant Professor; Kazuya Kawamura, Ph.D., Department of Urban Planning and Policy; Lise Dirks, MA, Senior Associate, George Yanos, MA, Principal Research Programmer; Ouri Wolfson, Richard and Loan Hill Professor, Computer Science; Jordan Snow, Research Transportation Planner/Analyst; Havan Surat, GISP, Research Transportation Planner/Analyst; and a number of graduate student Research Assistants. We also include faculty from other units on campus, including Korous Mohammadian, Ph.D., College of Engineering with special expertise.