September 27, 2001

Chicago Transit Authority President Frank Kruesi has announced that Michael Shiffer will join the CTA as Vice President of Planning. Shiffer will spearhead the agency's overall strategic and operations planning efforts, including service scheduling.

A native Chicagoan, Shiffer came to the CTA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where he is an associate professor of Urban Planning and Policy and also serves as director of the Great Cities Urban Visualization Laboratory. His research at UIC has investigated the ways information technologies could better inform decision-making and debate with a focus on spatial information. He has taught courses in analytic methods, emerging technologies for planning and decision support, and urban public transportation. While at the CTA, he will continue to teach in keeping with UIC's "Great Cities Commitment" to become more fully engaged with the communities it serves.

CTA President Frank Kruesi said, "Mike Shiffer brings to the CTA a wealth of experience in transportation planning and in ways to use the latest technologies to provide the most effective service for Chicago in the 21st Century. Having propelled his early interest in transportation issues from Chicago to the world of research and teaching, he is superbly prepared for the challenges we face."

"Here's our chance to capitalize on information technology which presents us with a wonderful opportunity to improve the way we come together to discuss the future of our transit system and our communities," said CTA's new Vice President of Planning Mike Shiffer. "Being a part of the CTA will allow me to address some of the challenges of growth in ridership and help develop innovative ways to address these issues and work to improve services for CTA customers."

Before arriving at UIC, Shiffer served for 10 years on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was principal research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

He conducted and coordinated research into the impact of emerging technologies on public debate and decision-making processes for several sponsoring agencies. He also taught courses relating to computer-based analysis for public management, planning support systems, new technologies for decision support and urban mass transportation.

With his long-standing interest in urban transportation for large cities, Shiffer's technology and transportation interests have involved him in a number of research projects. Recent collaborations have been with MIT's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department on transit issues for San Juan, Puerto Rico and Chicago.

Shiffer holds a Ph.D. in Regional Planning and a Master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned a bachelor's degree in Geography from DePaul University.

He and his wife Mary Ann live in Oak Park with their son, Henry.

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