Building and revitalizing tomorrow’s transportation infrastructure

The Surface Transportation Program (STP) is a federally funded program which supports highways and bridges, transit capital improvements and projects, as well as bike and pedestrian projects.

In northeastern Illinois, this fund is divided into two distinct programs:

  • STP Shared Fund: programmed by the STP Project Selection Committee and administered by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) staff
  • STP Local Program: made up of 12 individual programs that are developed, programmed, and administered by the Councils of Mayors and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), with oversight from CMAP.

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Current shared fund projects

CMAP developed a $160 million, five-year program of 29 STP projects that eliminate barriers faced by bicycles and pedestrians; reconstruct, rehabilitate, or expand highways and bridges; separate railroad tracks from highways; and improve safety for all system users. In addition to this five-year program, CMAP has also developed a contingency program of 24 projects that may also be considered if additional funds become available. Find these Shared Fund Program quarterly status reports in the resources below.

What does the STP Shared Fund cover?

Projects eligible for the STP Shared Fund make large and lasting contributions to regional transportation priorities and are derived from a variety of planning activities. The fund’s intention is to encourage collaboration between municipalities and advance projects that local councils or CDOT cannot readily fund on their own.

The STP Shared Fund targets the following priority project types:

  • Bicycle and pedestrian barrier elimination: Projects that address gaps in regional greenways and trails network due to physical barriers (such as a waterway, highway, or railroad) to bicycle and pedestrian movement
  • Bridge rehabilitation/reconstructions: Projects that address condition deficiencies on the region’s bridges
  • Bus speed improvements: Projects that improve the speed and reliability of bus travel in the region
  • Corridor-level or small area safety improvements: Projects that address high or critical safety issues with countermeasures appropriate for the crash type(s) in the project corridor/area
  • Highway/rail grade crossing improvements: Projects that reduce delay at highway/rail crossings, through grade separation or other improvements
  • Road expansions: Projects that add capacity to an existing road or involve construction of a new road 
  • Road reconstructions: Projects that address condition deficiencies on the road network and do not add roadway capacity
  • Transit station, yard, or terminal improvements: Projects that enhance the existing transit system by improving, reconstructing, and/or relocating commuter transit stations, yards, or terminals, and/or that address gaps in bicycle or pedestrian access to stations and/or improve compliance or storage deficiencies at yards or terminals
  • Truck route improvements: Projects that improve truck movement through a corridor or area by addressing inadequate roadway geometry and/or physical or operational barriers to truck movement

Who can apply for the STP Shared Fund?

Eligible sponsors or partners include any state agency or unit of government that can levy taxes (e.g., municipality, county, township, park district, forest preserve district, or transit agency).

Non-municipal sponsors are strongly encouraged to seek partnerships with, or letters of support from, affected municipalities. To meet the eligibility requirements, partners must demonstrate financial or in-kind project involvement beyond just supporting a project. Private for-profit and non-profit organizations may partner with a public sponsor that meets the previously stated conditions but may not submit applications or act as the lead agency for project implementation.

STP Local Program

Each local Council of Mayors and the City of Chicago administer an STP Local Program according to locally established methodologies. Communities that wish to participate in the STP Local Program must do so through their designated subregional council, according to the methodology and deadlines of that council. Every local methodology includes regional planning factors and must be administered according to the region’s active program management policies.

In June 2024, the MPO Policy Committee will consider the council and Chicago Department of Transportation’s FFY 2025 – 2029 local programs through a series of TIP amendments. More information about the individual councils’ programs can be obtained by visiting the council website below.

If you have questions, please contact your council’s planning liaison; for Chicago, contact Grant Davis at grant.davis@cityofchicago.org.

Program management

The distribution of STP funding and programming procedures are outlined in an agreement between the Council of Mayors and City of Chicago that was updated and endorsed by the MPO Policy Committee on October 11, 2017.  This agreement also created the STP Project Selection Committee that is responsible for developing the STP Shared Fund methodology, establishing Active Program Management Policies for the region, and establishing policies for assistance for disadvantaged communities.

To assist CMAP, CDOT, and the councils with making the best active reprogramming choices, an accounting of available, programmed, and obligated funds is maintained for the region.  This accounting also includes actual and projected redistribution of unobligated funds and the use of those funds by local and shared fund projects. It is updated continuously and posted for reference below.

Resources

STP Shared Fund status reports