Strategic Planning and Policy Bureau


The Strategic Planning and Policy Bureau (SPP) helps develop plans and policies implemented by the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) for transportation infrastructure and investments. The bureau supports DoTH as it enhances County facilities, improves mobility for all transportation users, supports economic development and increases traffic safety by making equitable investments throughout the County.

What We Do

In 2016, the County launched Connecting Cook County, the first strategic transportation plan in 75 years. The plan includes five policy priorities that shape how the County invests in transportation-related projects to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent. Plans and policies set forth by SPP encompass at least one priority. The five priorities include:

  • Prioritizing transit and other transportation alternatives
  • Supporting the region’s role as north America’s freight capital
  • Promoting equal access to opportunities
  • Maintaining and modernize what already exists
  • Increasing investments in transportation

Strategic Initiatives

SPP also leads several strategic initiatives for the department including Invest in Cook, the department’s annual grant program that helps communities build critical transportation infrastructure as well as Fair Transit South Cook, a partnership with Metra and Pace Suburban Bus that offers reduced fares and more frequent service.

SPP also coordinates with the public agencies and private railroads involved in the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program, a first-of-its-kind partnership between U.S. Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, Cook County, the City of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak and the nation’s freight railroads. Cook County joined the CREATE partnership in 2018 to help advance its mission of reducing rail congestion and eliminating conflicts between rail and roadways. DoTH provides financial support for several CREATE projects and leads or assists on several key highway-rail grade separations.