TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION:

STAR LINE (Suburban Transit Access Route)


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METRA is proposing a far reaching interconnecting rail line that goes beyond the northwest suburbs. By linking 110 communities in the southwest, west, and northwest suburban regions of northeast Illinois, the STAR Line fills a critical void for inter-suburban commuter rail service that will intersect and complement Metra's existing rail lines that currently serve as hub and spoke lines from the City of Chicago to the suburban communities.

The proposed interconnection of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway (better known as the EJ&E) and the proposed NW Corridor Line that will run from O'Hare Airport along the I-90 Tollway and will interconnect at Prairie Stone Business Park. This interconnection will allow easy transitions to O'Hare airport and into the City of Chicago and with other rail lines that run from Chicago west and southwest. This connection will access communities and industrial parks from Joliet north through Naperville, Aurora, West Chicago, Bartlett to businesses and residents along the NW Corridor including Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, Elk Grove Village and Des Plaines.

The cornerstone of these two rail lines will be at the Hoffman Estates Business Park, Prairie Stone, home to Sears Merchandise Group and many other businesses including Leopardo, Quest, Transamerica, AIU Online, and the Hoffman Estates Park District's Health and Fitness Center. Hoffman Estates is fortunate in that three other access points to the rail line are being planned. Golf Road (at Rt. 59), Barrington Road and Roselle Road are intersections where stations are being planned. This gives Hoffman Estates the opportunity to develop TOD's (Transportation Oriented Development) around the proposed station locations and to help residents and employees to find easy access to the "state of the art" individual diesel powered train cars that will truly integrate the commuter rail network in the Northeastern Illinois region.

Congestion leads to lost productivity for the nation's corporations and businesses, averaging $26.70 per hour, per employee.

The Texas Transportation Institute found road work congestion costs an average Chicago-area motorist more than $1,200 a year in gas and related charges.

The same study quantifies the overall congestion costs in the Chicago area at more than $4 billion annually, and estimates the annual delay from congestion at more than 221,000 per-person hours.

In contrast, saving a single minute on each train of the Metra system would result in 5,000 passenger hours saved each weekday and over 33,000 workweeks saved each year.

The amount of time when motorists might experience congestion has increased from 4.5 hours per day in 1982, to 7.8 hours per day in 2002. There is no such thing as peak-rush hour for motorists along the I-90 corridor; the congestion is constant.

The region and this corridor are forecasted for robust growth in new job development, new home development, and population growth. Expansion of O'Hare, alone, will result in new economic output of $8-$10 billion annually for the region and approximately 455,000 new jobs.


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