Below, you will find some brief excerpts and links to media references mentioning or quoting Chicago Metropolis 2020.  To the best of our knowledge, links to external resources worked at the time of posting, however over time, these links may change.  This is beyond the control of Chicago Metropolis 2020.

Chicago Tonight (WTTW Chicago)

September 16, 2010

Chicago Metropolis CEO George Ranney appeared on a panel discussion what Mayor Daley's retirement announcement mean for the future of the business community in Chicago and what concerns does organized labor have .

Here's the video.



Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ-FM)
Eight Forty-Eight News Program

September 14, 2010

Chicago Metropolis 2020 Executive Director Frank Beal was interviewed by Richard Steele on the Eight Forty-Eight news program on WBEZ.  The topic was the Building Our Economy:  Transportation for a New Illinois.    The interview is approximately eight minutes long.  Click here to listen to the audio.


  • Fleet Owner Magazine

  • States urged to craft new transportation strategies

  • By Sean Kilcarr, senior editor

  • September 13, 2010

State governments are being challenged to develop better transportation strategies And not just to handle expected growth in passenger and freight traffic, but also to jump-start economic expansion and job creation.

“One of the greatest challenges facing Illinois in the coming decades is how to use transportation investments and policies to strengthen our state’s economy,” said Donald Lubin, chairman of Chicago Metropolis 2020, a nonprofit civic organization created by The Commercial Club of Chicago in 1999.

“Nearly all of our population growth will occur in the state’s metropolitan areas, [with] residents working in a new and different economy that is dominated by services, tourism, logistics, finance, and information management industries,” he said in the introduction of a new report from the group, Building Our Economy: Transportation for a New Illinois.

To read more, click here.

  • Progress Illinois (blog)

  • The Promise Of A Modern Transit System

    • September 13, 2010

    • by Adam Doster

At a time when government resources are scarce, elected officials in Illinois need to be judicious about how they spend taxpayer money. They also need to improve the state's sluggish economy by creating jobs and spurring consumer spending. Dramatically enhancing Illinois' transportation infrastructure could kill those two birds with one stone, an idea that's not lost on the state's leading business-backed regional growth organization.

Yesterday, Chicago Metropolis 2020 released a massive and highly-informative report titled "Building Our Economy: Transportation for a New Illinois." The title is self-explanatory. To flourish in the 21st century, the report's authors argue that Illinois needs to reassert its position as the nation's leading engine of transportation development and innovation. Doing so will require some extensive, and in some cases politically painful, reforms on the part of officials across the state. But the benefits almost undoubtedly outweigh the costs.

To read more go to:

  • SouthtownStar

  • Bad transit planning is bad for business

    • September 12, 2010

    • by Phil Kadner

Maybe we really don't need any government. But a group of leading business and civic leaders in Chicago seems to think we do and, in fact, they're calling for higher taxes.

Chicago Metropolis 2020, organized by the Commercial Club of Chicago, has released a new study that says the region is losing jobs and money because the state has failed to adequately invest in public transportation.

Specifically, the study calls for doubling the Illinois motor fuel tax from 19 cents to 38 cents per gallon, which some people would claim is not a tax.

It also calls for consolidation of the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace and the elimination of 1,403 township governments into "more cost-effective county transportation departments."

I'm not sure any of this is politically practical, but I sure know how Cook County residents feel about our gasoline prices and the effectiveness of county government.

That's not to say the idea isn't a good one or vital to the economic growth of the region. The folks from Metropolis 2020 spent a lot of time studying the problem and have more expertise in these areas than I do.

To read more, click here.


  • Chicago Tribune

  • Group links better transit, better economy

    • September 12, 2010

    • by Richard Wronski, Tribune Reporter

Like a bus with several drivers, the Chicago area's mass transit system has too many people at the wheel, each with different destinations in mind, concludes a new report that calls for a far-reaching overhaul of the region's transportation network.

Together, the four service boards are run by 47 different directors appointed by as many as 16 local and state elected officials with little incentive to invest time or money in such innovations as a universal-fare transit card or seamless connections, says the public-policy group Chicago Metropolis 2020.

"Quite naturally, the members and staff of each service board focus on the needs of their own agency, support their own agency in the competition for money, guard their agency's autonomy, and tend to resist efforts by the (Regional Transit Authority) to coordinate and lead," the report said.

The web of road, rail, water and air transportation spun from Illinois' central geography and spread over the last two centuries is in peril due to recent decades of inattention, the organization says.

A system-wide overhaul is needed, according to the report, which calls for focusing "fresh eyes" on improving transportation — not as an goal in itself but as a means to produce economic growth and create long-term employment.

To read more, click here.

  • KMOX (Illinois Radio Network)

  • Illinois’ transportation gets a fresh look

  • September 13, 2010

  • CHICAGO (IRN) – Transportation is a must to boost our state’s economic performance, according to one non-profit group. Chicago Metropolis 2020 on Sunday released a report which proposes a new perspective on transportation – to see it not as an end in itself but as a means to produce long term employment and economic expansion.

  • Chicago Metropolis 2020 spokesman Jim LaBelle says the Illinois economy from Rockford to East St. Louis has changed over the last several decades.

    The report says that tourism and business will grow and freight volumes will likely double within 20 years and Illinois must be prepared for it.

To read more, go to:


  • Crain's Chicago Business (Greg Hinz's blog)

  • Report urges fixing Illinois' economy with more transit investment

    • September 10, 2010

    • by Greg Hinz

    Illinois needs to double its gasoline tax -- and largely abolish township government -- if it is to find the resources it needs to shore up the state's critical transportation network.

    It also needs to allow transit fares and highway tolls to rise automatically with inflation.

    That's the bold but controversial conclusion of Chicago Metropolis 2020 in a report set for release on Monday on how to rebuild the state's sagging economy.

    Noting that Illinois' per capital income has slipped in recent years compared to other states, the business-backed civic group argues that much of the cause is inadequate investment in the state's network of roads, railroads and airports.

  • To read more, go to:

  • Gapers Block (blog)

  • Chicago's Right Fix

    • September 10, 2010

    • by Ben Shulman

Last week, this space took a peek into various projects underway nationwide that are essentially right-sizing transit infrastructure to be compatible and appropriate for its surroundings. For infrastructure on the whole, more and more cities, such as New Orleans, are at the very least talking about attacking their present sense of being with a more symbiotic view of their natural sense of place.

In addressing more realistic uses of land, and recognizing that the old standard of growth as a panacea is basically outdated, a city like Cleveland is just now starting to operate in the here and now by reclaiming vacant land for new purposes, and in the process directly addressing its future and not hoping for one to simply take hold of it. Under the still-new Mayor David Bing, Detroit is beginning to realistically assess its assets in terms of proper use, and not regrowth.

And with mention of mayors, it brings us home to Chicago. After hearing that Mayor Daley would not be running for reelection, the Chicago Tribune's Blair Kamen noted in his Cityscapes blog that Daley "...was the Boss and the Builder--a democratically-elected king who could remake vast swaths of the city at will," and that "whether you loved Daley or loathed him, this much was indisputable: He cared passionately about the way Chicago looked." For all of the much-needed repairs the CTA requires, for all of the neglected spaces and neighborhoods that need further tending to and attention, and for all of the unlocked potential within the city, we've got to admit Chicago's got good bones to work with. Where at one point in time the city could have very easily ossified, Daley ensured that for the past 21 years, there was a check against that atrophy.

As Chicago gets ready to move into its post-Daley incarnation, the problems that Daley leaves behind in the built environment still need tending to and addressing. Chicago has always seemed comfortable in its big-city skin about its capacity to carry out large public works projects. However, envisioning and application are two entirely different entities, and for a city that was recently ranked #6 in Foreign Policy's 'Global Cities Index,' there seems to be a disconnect between the city's ambitions and its ability to implement innovative measures. Whether it be extending or building new CTA rail lines, reusing and re-adapting fallow land into new purposes, or simply restructuring aspects of the budget- think TIFs- to allow for a more harmonious relationship between functions of the city, the next mayor should make improving upon and building out Chicago's environment an utmost priority.

Utilizing the good bones that Chicago has to work with, it would seem wise of the next mayor to spearhead the development of a distinct planning commission that brings in a mix of people from their administration, agencies like CMAP and Chicago Metropolis 2020, and neighborhood/ward-level representatives to develop a comprehensive plan for infrastructure projects the city aims to tackle. Coming direct from the Fifth Floor would be a broad outline of items it intends to address- for example, building out the Red, Yellow and Orange Line extensions, or moving ahead on developing the Bloomingdale Trail and the Englewood E.R.A Trail- and then make it the stated goal of the administration to take very specific steps to accomplish its list.

To read more, to to: