transportation

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A row of pristine, white bicycles is stationed outside Peoria City Hall, ahead of Friday’s official launch of a bike share service.

Decatur Park District

 

A proposal in the Trump administration’s budget plan would eliminate funding for passenger service at rural and small-town airports --- including the one in Decatur.

Flickr Creative Commons/Wrenux

Gov. Bruce Rauner is asking the Illinois Legislature to allow work to start on Interstate 55 in the Chicago area via a public-private partnership.  Rauner, the state transportation secretary and Republican House Leader Jim Durkin, made the push at a news conference. They say the Illinois Legislature needs to pass a resolution supporting the project by the end of the month. 

Flickr Creative Commons/jennie-o

A Chicago-area Democratic congressman says Illinois could miss out on federal infrastructure money under President-elect Donald Trump if the state doesn't sort out its budget problems.  U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley says that if Illinois can't come up with matching funds from a capital plan then it will miss out on new federal money from a big federal infrastructure program. 

Illinois voters have approved a constitutional amendment aimed at making sure transportation-related funds aren't used for other purposes.  The measure was the only lawmaker-generated ballot measure this year and had bipartisan support. 

Roo Reynolds / Flickr/Creative Commons

The first Allegiant Flight from Charlotte North Carolina landed at Peoria International Airport today. That was closely followed by the first flight departing for the new destination.

Brian Robert Marshall / Creative Commons

DWIGHT, Ill. (AP) - A new high-speed passenger rail station has been completed in the northeast Illinois community of Dwight. 

Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn announced the completion last week. The new station is among upgrades aimed at improving high-speed service between Chicago and St. Louis. 

The 1,500-square foot building features a glass facade and modern amenities for passengers on Amtrak's Lincoln Service. That includes connections to bicycle and pedestrian paths and free Wi-Fi.  Construction began last year at the site of a former grain elevator. It's near a historic train depot in Dwight. 

Bike advocates and transportation planners are shifting gears to hear public feedback on enhancing the region's bike network. 

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission’s year-old Bike Connect HOI initiative plans to hold an open house Wed. that aims to gather responses on proposed action items for improving bike transportation.

Nick Hayward is a senior planner with the regional planning commission. Hayward says however, those interested in joining the conversation should consider the long view...

pasa47 / Flickr/Creative Commons

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - A pedal-power program is coming to Bloomington-Normal because of the Normal City Council's approval of a contract with a bicycle-sharing company. 

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zagster will install nine stations in Bloomington as well as Normal, although Bloomington isn't paying for the program - nor is Illinois Wesleyan University in that city or Illinois State University in Normal. 

Regional Bike Plan Pedals Forward

Jun 1, 2016
Tulane Public Relations / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission is pedaling forward on the bike plan that aims to connect routes in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties. 

TCRPC Executive Director Eric Miller says part of the Heart of Illinois Regional Bicycle Plan includes extending the Rock Island Trail in Peoria southward to Park Ave.

“We look at the Rock Island Trail as kind of the backbone of the trail network, and it extends to the Riverfront, and across the river to East Peoria and up through Morton,” Miller said.

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

 

More than 150 people toured the new Ray LaHood International Terminal at the Peoria International Airport Monday.

 

It was an opportunity to see the $11 million facility before it’s commissioned. The two-story, 21,000 square foot structure includes full-service Customs and Border Protections capacity as well as two additional gates for domestic or international travel.

Loco Steve / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Amtrak says that its passenger numbers in Illinois fell to about 1.3 million in the latest fiscal year, or a decline of about 4 percent.

The passenger rail service attributes the drop to low gasoline prices and high-speed rail construction between Chicago and St. Louis. The construction forced periodic use of chartered buses on the route.

Residents Share Input On Proposed Regional Bike Plan

Sep 29, 2015
Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

 

The U.S. Senate is set to take up legislation this week to keep federal highway dollars flowing to Missouri, Illinois and other states beyond the end of the month.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Jim Howard 

Two studies that the state of Illinois is funding to further develop the Midwest Inland Port in Decatur are moving forward. 

Cuts the governor is proposing for next year's budget are a concern for transportation officials. 

The latest long-range transportation plan for the region includes dozens of projects. But adequate funding is a constantly-looming concern:

Long Range Transportation Plan open house

Nov 18, 2014

The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission is seeking input on how to improve regional transportation. A long term planning open house is Tuesday (Tonight) from 5:00p.m. to 7:30p.m. at Five Points Washington. 

Illinois Leads Nation In Improvement in Unemployment

Oct 21, 2014

Illinois had one of the stronger showings in the nation in new jobs last month and it led the way nationally with a a 2.5% drop in unemployment from September of last year to September of this year.

Figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Illinois added more than 19,000 jobs last month, marking the second largest increase in the nation. 

Illinois trailed only Texas in month over month employment.

The biggest gains came in  professional and business services. That includes more accounting jobs which have increased in the Chicago area.  

The Tri-County Regional Planning commission has made it easier for the public to weigh-in on transportation issues.  

Some Illinois lawmakers say the key to transportation funding is improving public awareness.  That was the message from a panel speaking at the annual I-CAT Transportation Conference in East Peoria. State Senator Karen McConnaughay says getting more input from chambers of commerce, residents and businesses could make transportation funding more efficient than approving a multi-year capital bill:

Illinois will invest another $8.6 billion into roads, bridges and other projects. It's the latest installment of a major infrastructure plan lawmakers passed in 2010. Now, Governor Pat Quinn is calling for a new one. But he’s not saying where the money should come from.

Communities affected by a natural disaster need to both physically respond and take time to calculate accurate damage estimates. That's according to Washington Engineer Ed Andrews speaking at the I-CAT Transportation Conference in East Peoria. He says state and federal deadlines to submit damage assessments kick-in soon after a disaster:

LaHood joins Proterra board of directors

Feb 18, 2014

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is joining the Board of Directors for Proterra.  The company makes electric bus fleets.  

Peoria to name intersection after Ray LaHood

Oct 29, 2013

The City of Peoria is naming the Main and Monroe Street intersection after one of its most notable residents. The naming will honor former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood next week. 

Obama nominates successor to Ray LaHood

Apr 29, 2013

President Barack Obama is nominating a replacement for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  Obama nominated Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx to head the department.  Foxx is the first black nominee among Obama's picks for open spots in his second-term Cabinet. If confirmed, Foxx will replace Secretary LaHood, who was one of the few Republicans serving in Obama's administration.  LaHood says he intends to spend time in Peoria after leaving.  He says curbing distracted driving and furthering high-speed rail projects are among the top achievements in his tenure

Quinn aims to improve roads

Apr 17, 2013

Illinois will invest nearly 13 billion dollars on highways, bridges and other transportation projects under a plan the Governor unveiled Wednesday. As IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports the bulk of that spending will go toward fixing roads, not building new ones.          

Regional effort to boost transit access

Apr 8, 2013

The Greater Peoria Mass Transit District is leading a local effort to improve access to transportation for those with disabilities. A task force was formed last summer through the Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative and the Easter Seals to identify transportation needs in the Peoria area, East Peoria and Pekin.   

Peoria County’s rural transit service may have funding through the end of June.  Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports the County Board is considering two-resolutions next month to fund the cash-strapped service: 

 The rural transit service needs about $140,000 to stay afloat through June. That’s because more people are using the program than annual grant funding can support.  One resolution proposes taking money directly out of the general fund to pay for rural transit costs.  County Board member Allen Mayer has another resolution. He proposes instead paying  for the transit service with anticipated revenues from property taxes and delaying some road projects for a year. 

Area passenger rail hopes hit funding snag

Feb 28, 2013

Chances are slim for securing current federal funding to help bring passenger rail service between Peoria and Bloomington/Normal.  Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports:  The Mayors from Peoria and Normal traveled with staff to Washington D.C. in January asking for $4 million to pay for the rail project’s environmental review and pre-engineering costs.  Officials with the federal transit administration are now saying that there’s no federal planning money currently available to help pay for the project.