The people behind the wheel: Gia Biagi’s story, Chicago Department of Transportation

For Intelligent Transport’s exclusive ‘The people behind the wheel’ series, Gia Biagi, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation, discusses the key challenges and achievements that she has overcome and accomplished in her career to date, and explains how her strong desire to positively impact people and their neighbourhoods inspired her to seek a career in the transport industry.

The people behind the wheel: Gia Biagi’s story, Chicago Department of Transportation

Can you tell us about your role at the Chicago Department of Transportation?

As Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Transportation (CDOT), I oversee the city department responsible for Chicago’s public way infrastructure and services, including roadways and bridges, pavements and bike lanes, traffic signals and signage, streetlights and alleys, the permitting of activities in the public right-of-way, the citywide bike-share and e-scooter programmes, as well as policies focused on equity, complete streets, climate adaptation, new mobility and more. This work includes development of the city’s strategic direction for transportation policies, programmes and projects.

This effort is codified in Chicago’s new Strategic Plan for Transportation, which centres CDOT’s work on transportation equity and mobility justice and guides delivery of the city’s multi-billion dollar ‘Chicago Works’ infrastructure construction programme. Note that CDOT is a separate entity from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), which operates most public transport services in Chicago, including the bus and city rail system; we do work closely with CTA to match our investments in train stations, bus lanes and related transit infrastructure to their goals and priorities.

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