State and Local Policy Database

Chicago

City Scorecard Rank

7

Chicago, IL

71.50Scored out of 100Updated 5/2017
Local Government Score:
7 out of 10 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Chicago’s sustainability goals derive mostly from mayoral executive orders. Previously, the city released the Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan to guide municipal climate and energy action.

Climate Mitigation Goal

Executive Order No. 2017-1 committed the entire city to greenhouse gas emission reductions equal to those outlines in the United Nations Convention Framework on Climate Change. The commitment would achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of 26% to 28%.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

Mayor Rahm Emmanuel pledged city buildings will consume 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Last updated: June 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

According to the 2015 Sustainable Chicago Action Plan, the city aims to reduce municipal fossil fuel consumption by 10%, replace 3% of on-road fleet vehicles with cleaner vehicles annually, and reduce the energy intensity of Chicago Transit Authority rail service by 12% from 2011 levels. Additionally, the City’s Fleet and Facilities Management (2FM) Department has a policy to increase the number of non-CPD (Chicago Police Department) leased light-duty vehicles to 366. This policy has reduced the size of the City’s light-duty fleet; lowered the average age of light-duty vehicles being used by the City; and reduced fuel use and maintenance expenses. This city monitors the use of its public fleet through the Fleet Center System, which incorporates GPS technology to increase public fleet efficiency. Additionally, the City has committed to electrifying 25% of its eligible passenger vehicle fleet by 2023 and has obtained a $15M Federal grant to assist in achieving this goal. As part of the City’s fleet electrification grant, it has federal funds to install 20 DC Fast Chargers and 80 Level 2 chargers at the airports.The Chicago Transit Authority has piloted 2 electric buses and awarded a contract for 20 new electric buses in June 2018. All 20 buses will be in service by 2020.

We were unable to find data regarding fleet composition.

Public Lighting

The City of Chicago owns and operates all of the public outdoor lighting. Chicago is working on the procurement of a large scale lighting modernization project that will impact 85% of Chicago’s outdoor lights. The luminaire specification for all LED fixtures included in the Chicago Smart Light Program requires dimmable drivers and receptacles for 7-pin light control devices. The combination of a lighting management system and “smart luminaires” is projected to reduce lighting electric consumption by at least 60%. As of March 2019, the Chicago Smart Lighting Program (CSLP) has installed 100,000 new LED smart streetlight fixtures has part of the four-year modernization program. These upgrades account for about 37% of all streetlights in Chicago.

Green Building Requirements

The city requires LEED Silver certification for all new municipal buildings and significant renovations. Under the city’s Sustainable Development Policy, any projects receiving assistance or in a planned development zone must meet LEED Silver standards or better. 

Last updated: June 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

Chicago benchmarks all buildings over 50,000 square feet under the City’s benchmarking policy. The City publicly discloses data of all private and public buildings with benchmarking requirements. The Sustainable Chicago 2015 Plan has a goal to improve energy efficiency in municipal buildings by 10%. The city has three contracts with energy services companies to retrofit Chicago's municipal projects. Initial savings associated with these contracts appear to be approximately $9.4 million in energy costs for 2016, a portion of which comes from the energy efficiency upgrades. 

Public Workforce Commuting

We did not find information on a policy aimed at reducing commutes of city employees, such as flexible schedules or telework.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 9 out of 12 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Chicago adopted its Climate Action Plan in 2008.

Last updated: March 2019

Climate Action and Energy Planning GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Mayor Emanuel’s 2017 Executive Order commits the City of Chicago to the goal of reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2025 in line with the Paris Accord.   

The city has released greenhouse gas inventories for the years 2005, 2010, 2015.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a community-wide energy reduction goal for the city.

Renewable Energy Goal

Resilient Chicago, the city’s resilience strategy, includes a goal to transition to 100% renewable energy in buildings across the city by 2035.

Energy Data Reporting

The city’s greenhouse gas inventory includes community-wide energy data. The city has released greenhouse gas inventories for the years 2005, 2010, 2015.

Last updated: March 2019

Equitable Climate Action and Energy Planning List All

Equitable Community Outreach

The city did not increase its outreach to marginalized groups relative to other city constituencies in the planning and implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Equitable Decision-Making

The city has not created a formal role for local organizations representing low-income or communities of color to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan. 

Accountability to Equity

The city has not established goals or published methods for tracking how energy, sustainability, or climate action initiatives are reversing any ongoing actions that disadvantage marginalized residents. 

Last updated: March 2019

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

Chicago issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) to install solar farms on seven lots owned by the city. Some of these systems will offer community solar subscriptions.

Last updated: March 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

The Climate Action Plan set a goal to install rooftops gardens on 6,000 buildings citywide by 2020 and to plant one million trees by 2020.

Chicago’s Sustainable Development Policy requires new construction projects to integrate low impact development measures or restore natural lands. The city's policy also provides expedited green permits for construction involving a green roof, rainwater harvesting, or a similar measure. The Chicago Energy Efficiency Conservation Code requires new low-sloped roofs to have a minimum 3-year reflectance of 0.5 and medium sloped roofs to have a reflectance of 0.15. Chicago has not adopted a private tree protection ordinance.

Last updated: March 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 18.5 out of 28 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Chicago currently complies with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance includes comprehensive benchmarking and disclosure requirements for buildings greater than 50,000 square feet. The city offers incentives to residential buildings for both energy efficiency upgrades and solar installation. Chicago does not require buildings to perform energy saving actions, but the Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge has been successful at reducing energy use.

Last updated: March 2019

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

Overview

The State of Illinois allows local jurisdictions to adopt energy codes more stringent than the state’s. Currently, both the state and the City of Chicago follow the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code for commercial and residential buildings. The state has formally adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code for both residential and commercial, and the Code is set to take effect in March 2019. To learn more about building energy codes in Illinois, please visit the State Policy Database.

Commercial

Chicago complies with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code for all commercial buildings. The city adopted an amendment to the 2015 IECC to include a cool roof requirement. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 53.4.

Residential

The city complies with the 2015 IECC for all residential buildings. The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 59.3.  

Solar- and EV-ready

The city has not adopted a formal policy mandating new construction be solar- and/or EV- ready.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

Chicago does not have staff solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. The city previously ran the Registered Energy Professional program, but discontinued it in 2018. Currently, the city requires all permit applicants to have their plans reviewed by an Illinois-licensed architect or engineer and submit an energy compliance statement. The city provides free technical supporting and training on the state and energy code through the University of Illinois’s Smart Energy Design Assistance Center.

Last updated: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

The city offers three incentives and financing programs for both energy efficiency upgrades and solar installation for buildings.

The Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership offers rebates for energy efficient appliance to residential buildings with no more than four units. The Tax-Increment Financing Neighborhood Improvement Program offers grants to residential building of one to four units for efficiency improvements including air sealing, roof insulation, and boiler or furnace upgrades. The city passed a property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing ordinance that will provide financing to commercial, institutional and residential building owners.

Last updated: March 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

Chicago has the following energy action requirements.

  • The Chicago Benchmarking Energy Ordinance created the Chicago Energy Rating System. The system assigns all buildings over 50,000 square feet an energy performance rating, which will be required to be posted in a prominent location and shared at time of listing the property for sale or lease. It goes into effect in 2019. 

  • The Chicago Sustainable Development Policy requires development projects that are receiving financial assistance or special approvals from the City to include sustainable elements. Developers must select the elements from a sustainable strategies menu. New construction must achieve 100 points and renovations must achieve 25 to 50 points. The policy applies to any commercial or multifamily project that receives city assistance, requires a zoning change, or requires any other special approval (typically most large private development projects). 

The city also have one voluntary program. The Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge achieved energy savings. As 2017, it enrolled more than 90 buildings that account for 51.3 million square total.  Each participating property commits to reducing their energy consumption by 20% within the first five years after joining, and to tracking their energy and water data with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Last updated: May 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The community solar RFP includes a section on local workforce development. Respondents must meet Minority and Women Business Enterprise participation requirements. City residents must perform 50% of workhours, with at least 7.5% of those residents being project area residents.

The city’s energy benchmarking policy also includes a workforce development provision, where a professional with a city-approved license and/or training credential must verify the data. The City has worked with several local organizations to ensure their training programs are recognized under this requirement. Some of the local organizations that provide training include the City Colleges of Chicago, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 1 training center, and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Last updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

The Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark using Portfolio Manager and publicly disclose the information. Owners must provide reports annually and have a trained professional verify their data every three years. The city discloses buildings-specific data to the public on their website. The city adopted the ordinance in September 2013 and it became effective in June 2014.

Chicago offers training and guidance to building owners through a help center hotline. Chicago also worked with local utilities to simplify the data collection process by ensuring owners have access to whole-building energy use data for buildings. The Ordinance currently covers 73% of commercial buildings and 67% of multifamily buildings within the city.

Single-family     

Section 5-16-050 of Chicago's Municipal Code requires residential building owners to disclose a building's natural gas and electricity costs for the previous 12 months at the time of sale. 

Last Updated: May 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 16.5 out of 20 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), an investor-owned utility (IOU) is the primary electric service provider for the City of Chicago. Peoples Gas, an IOU, is Chicago’s primary natural gas supplier. To help Commonwealth Edison and Peoples Gas reach the state EERS target, the City of Chicago is an active promoter of energy efficiency programs. Currently, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) receives 25% of total funding for energy efficiency programs raised by utility tariffs to administer public-sector and low-income energy efficiency offerings. Beginning in 2018, responsibility for these programs will shift to electric and natural gas utilities. On the state level, Chicago strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for energy efficiency projects for all of its utilities.

The State of Illinois requires energy efficiency program spending and energy savings targets for its utilities through an EERS. To learn more about the state requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Illinois page of the State Database.

The Chicago Department of Water Management is the municipal utility that provides Chicago with drinking water services and stormwater management. The utilities partner to run some efficiency programs, as well as run some independently. The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is the regional wastewater treatment utility and also coordinates stormwater management in Cook County.

Last Updated: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, according to ComEd, they achieved 2,372,922 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 1.72% of retail sales. In 2017, Peoples Gas reported savings of 9.88 MMtherms from natural gas efficiency programs, representing 0.78% of its retail sales. These savings figures cover the entire Illinois service territory, not just Chicago. ComEd offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. Peoples Gas similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

The city promotes energy efficiency programs and other rebate and incentives under Retrofit Chicago and the new Smart Grid Program in partnership with ComEd and Peoples Gas. Retrofit Chicago is marketed by city staff and non-profit partners through neighborhood outreach and engagement including community workshops, educational materials, and online resources. The Smart Grid Program is coordinating citywide outreach on smart meters and energy efficiency by visiting community service centers, community events, and holding workshops at Chicago Public Libraries, senior centers, and other locations to share information. Natural Gas programs also fall under Retrofit Chicago and are promoted in conjunction with electric utility incentives, engaging with both residential and commercial customers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, ComEd did not provide renewable energy incentives for the construction of new distributed solar or wind systems. ComEd will begin offering renewable generation incentives in December 2018. The Distributed Generation Rebate (“DG Rebate”) program is available to commercial and industrial customers that receive net metering service or to community supply project owners or their subscribers. Qualified applicants are eligible for a $250/kW rebate for up to 2,000 kW of installed generation.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

To our knowledge, the city of Chicago does not participate in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Until June 1, 2017, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) ran the Illinois Energy Now program, which provided a portfolio of dual fuel electric and natural gas efficiency programs administered by the state, targeting households at 80% of the area median income. Section 8-103 of the Public Utilities Act directed ComEd and Peoples Natural Gas to coordinate with DCEO regarding the implementation of these programs. On June 1, 2017, the Illinois Energy Now program was closed, and the DCEO handed off administration of the state’s low-income efficiency programs to the utilities.

From June through December 2017, ComEd offered four income-qualified programs, including 1) the Single-Family Retrofits, 2) Multi-Family Retrofits, 3) Affordable Housing New Construction, and 4) Public Housing Authority Program. These programs have continued to be offered in 2018, and new programs are also being offered, including 5) Income Eligible Lighting Discounts, 6) Food Bank LED Distribution, and 7) Income Eligible Kits.

Each of the seven programs partners with local community groups, including nonprofits, food banks, religious organizations, and for-profit groups. ComEd coordinates program delivery with the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program. For programs coordinated with WAP, health and safety costs are split 50-50 between state and utility programs. For projects in partnership with Chicago Bungalow Associate and Elevate Energy, as well as the Public Housing Program, the utilities cover 100% of the necessary health and safety costs. Additionally, projects completed under the Affordable Housing New Construction Program typically leverage Illinois Housing Development Authority funding for health and safety measures.

Peoples Gas runs numerous Income-Eligible programs in five program categories: 1) Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP), 2) Single-Family Income Eligible Program, 3) Multi-Family Income Eligible Program, 4) Affordable Housing New Construction, and 5) Multi-Family Public Housing Authority (PHA) Program.

Peoples Gas works with many organizations to implement their programs. For the Single-Family Income-Eligible (SFIE) Program, Peoples Gas partners with the Chicago Bungalow Association (CBA) for outreach and customer intake support. Within the Income-Eligible Multi-Family (IEMF) Pilot Program, Peoples Gas partnered with Elevate Energy for outreach and implementation support. The Public Housing Authority program (PHA) partnered with the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC) to implement the program. With the Illinois Housing Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) program, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas partners with non-profit Community Action Agencies within Cook County and Lake County. The Illinois Housing Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP) braids federal funding to include health and safety measures as part of the program offering to customers. 

In 2017, ComEd achieved 2,896 MWh of energy savings while serving 922 unique participants (777 in the single-family program, 128 multifamily retrofits, 1 affordable housing new construction, and 16 public housing authority program participants). In 2017, Peoples Gas achieved 0.32 MMtherms of savings while serving 1,948 unique units/projects.

Multifamily Programs

ComEd offers the Multi-Family Energy Assessment Program, which provides free energy assessments and no-cost direct install of energy-saving measures to help reduce energy usage in multifamily tenant units. They also offer the Multi-Family Common Area Pilot Program, which serves existing multifamily properties with three or more units and provides no-cost direct install measures and contractor installed lighting technologies in common areas, garages, and exteriors. The pilot includes programmable thermostats, vending misers, and screw-based LEDs.

Peoples Gas also offers the Multi-Family Program. This comprehensive program offers free energy assessments for multifamily building owners and no-cost direct install of high efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, programmable thermostats, pipe insulation and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). Rebates for additional energy-saving equipment are also available. This comprehensive program is jointly-delivered with ComEd and offers free energy assessments for multi-family building owners and no-cost direct installation of high efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, programmable thermostats, pipe insulation and high-efficiency lighting. Rebates for additional energy-saving equipment are also available.

In 2017, ComEd achieved 9,882 MWh of savings from multifamily programs and served 2,123 properties. In 2017, Peoples Gas achieved 2.32 MMtherms of savings and served 12,340 unique units with its multifamily programs.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order to assist large building managers with accessing aggregated energy data for building benchmarking, ComEd and Peoples Gas provide automatic data entry into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The City of Chicago has established a data-sharing agreement with ComEd and Peoples gas to collect aggregate community-level electricity usage data and provide this data online. Through this partnership, the city released a public open database of average citywide energy use by census block. Using this data, the city also launched a visualization tool, the Energy Map, an initiative that helps residents better understand their home energy use. Chicagoans can enter their address and see how their energy usage compares against other blocks in their neighborhood or citywide.

The City of Chicago continues to advocate for polices that require their utilities to expand the availability and granularity of energy usage data. The City also regularly works with utilities to ensure their data access tools are operating as intended. If the City receives any complaints or hears of issues through its Energy Benchmarking Help Center or other resources, the City works with the utilities to address the issues until they are resolved.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

Although Chicago’s water and energy utilities do not run joint water and energy efficiency programs, Chicago’s city-run MeterSave program provides significant incentives to the community. Through the MeterSave program, the city’s Department of Water Management (DWM) supplies a free water meter to unmetered residents and business customers and guarantees bills will be lower than the estimated rate for 7 years post installation. The City of Chicago also offers rain barrels and indoor or outdoor conservation kits to homeowners.

The City of Chicago has a goal to decrease water use by 2% annually, according to the Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan. The City of Chicago also has a program to aggressively replace old water mains, thus reducing water loss from leaking pipes. Through Building a New Chicago, DWM is replacing 900 miles of water main—most of which are over 100 years old—over a 10-year period. DWM has now installed more than 135,000 meters on homes since 2001. By City ordinance, commercial buildings are required to install their own during construction. The City has now replaced over 550 miles of water main under its current capital program and will meet its goal of replacing 900 miles by 2021.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

Both the Department of Water Management (DWM) and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) have extensive programs to increase energy efficiency across operations and are pursuing energy efficiency initiatives. DWM is converting several steam-powered turbines and boilers at five pumping stations in the water distribution system to electricity, saving more than $6.4 million/year in energy costs, with additional savings from lower operating costs, and a greenhouse gas emission reduction of 75%. The conversion of the pumping stations from steam to electricity are part of the “Building a New Chicago” program. The Springfield Pumping Station was fully converted from steam to electricity in 2017. The energy efficient station has reduced its carbon footprint and will save an estimated $4M annually with improved reliability and efficiency. The Central Park Pumping Station began construction in Dec 2018 for a similar conversion. The department estimates an annual savings of $4.5M in energy and maintenance expenses.

MWRD has also implemented a sewer thermal heat and cooling system to save energy at its water reclamation plant, where methane is also collected for electricity generation. Moreover, the MWRD operates several anaerobic digesters, generating up to one-third of its energy from the digestion process. A new project will divert 440 tons a day of food waste from the city of Chicago’s solid waste stream, feed it into the digesters at the Calumet treatment plant in Chicago, generate 160% more methane gas, and sell some of this gas back into the natural gas pipeline.

Last Updated: March 2019

Transportation
Score: 20.5 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the City of Chicago is the Chicago Transit Authority. CTA also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including train and bus service. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses Chicago, and the surrounding counties. The City of Chicago Department of Transportation is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

The Chicago Forward transportation plan and Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda both include a variety of approaches to reduce VMT with the city. These include making Chicago the most bike and pedestrian friendly city in the country by adding up to 100 miles of new bicycle lanes, introducing bicycle sharing, and developing a pedestrian master plan. The City is also targeting improved transit ridership by incentivizing transit-oriented development and adding bus rapid transit service. Chicago is also looking to expand Transit Oriented Development to include high-ridership, high-frequency CTA bus routes, making Chicago the first U.S. city to pursue such a policy. Chicago does not have a codified VMT reduction target in place.

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

At this time, the City does not have a codified vehicle miles traveled (VMT) or greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

We could not determine if the City tracks VMT or GHG numbers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Chicago has adopted a Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance.

Residential Parking Policies

The City’s zoning ordinance includes parking reductions for development around transit stations, in some developments parking reduction can be zero.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

The City offers density bonuses and expedited review of parking requirements for developments choosing to locate in transit-oriented zones. Chicago also has a Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus. This allows zoning bonuses to increase the size of individual downtown construction projects. Developers pay a bonus payment to get a higher floor area ratio (FAR).

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

Chicago has not yet developed targets to promote a modal shift in transportation. However, Chicago's Sustainable Chicago 2015 Action Agenda includes a variety of approaches to reduce VMT with the city. These include making Chicago the most bike and pedestrian friendly city in the country by adding up to 100 miles of new bicycle lanes, introducing bicycle sharing, and developing a pedestrian master plan.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

No progress has been achieved, as there are no targets in place.

Complete Streets

Chicago adopted its complete streets policy in 2006, Safe Streets for Chicago. The adoption of the policy encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all road construction and maintenance projects, ensuring safety for all in the public right-of-way.

Car Sharing

There are two car sharing programs currently available to the residents and visitors of Chicago, zipcar and Enterprise Carshare. Additionally, the city operates an internal car share program for city employees that utilize city-owned vehicles for work related transportation. The City does not yet have a formal policy in place to provide dedicated on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles.

Bike Sharing

The city is served by a bike sharing program, Divvy, with 500 operable stations and 5,800 bikes. The City also just completed a dockless bike share pilot in summer 2018 and is looking to incorporate dockless bikes into the Divvy system as it expands to reach citywide operation by the end of 2020. The City has a variety of opportunities that are supportive of bikeshare. The City’s Sustainable Development Policy includes purchase of a Divvy station as one option for obtaining credit for any project that includes City dollars, a zoning change, or other special approvals. Additionally, the City promotes bikeshare around TOD projects through multiple sections of the city code.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The CTA and Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad transit systems that serve Chicago have received $740,641,929 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $77.56 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the third highest category ($50-99) available in the City Scorecard.

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of Chicago’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 9.1, putting it in the highest category (greater than 9) available in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

The Chicago Department of Transportation (City) administers Drive Clean Chicago, a program delivering incentives to alternative fuel projects in the six-county Chicago area. The current incentive funds available are Drive Clean Truck, Drive Clean Taxi and Drive Clean Station.  The Drive Clean Truck Voucher program is a point of sale discount program for the purchase or lease of electric and hybrid trucks and buses. The Drive Clean Taxi voucher program offers point of sale discounts on electric public passenger vehicles including taxis, transportation network providers and livery vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

The City of Chicago offers a 1-day easy permit process for installing electric vehicle charging stations.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 126 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Chicago has no incentives or requirements available for the installation of private or public EV charging infrastructure powered by renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.).

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight List All

Chicago supports the CREATE program, which is a public-private partnership between the city, state, and the six class 1 railroads and two switching railroads serving the region: Metra and Amtrak. Project benefits include fewer delays, reduced congestion, cost savings, reduced air pollution and fuel savings.

Last Updated: March 2019

Low-Income Transportation AccessList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

The Chicago zoning Ordinance incentivizes development at or near transit stations by offering reductions in minimum lot area, increases in height, reduction in parking and increases in floor area. In addition, the city lists energy efficient design and projects located near public transportation as selection criteria preferences in the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for the allocation of 9% of Low-Income Housing Credits.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Chicago has a Divvy for Everyone Program that provides a one-time $5 Annual Membership to qualifying residents. The Chicago Transit Authority has a reduced fare and free ride program for some residents.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

In the City of Chicago, 48% of low-income households have access to high-quality transit.

Last Updated: April 2019