(70 ILCS 3615/2.09) (from Ch. 111 2/3, par. 702.09)
    Sec. 2.09. Research and Development.
    (a) The Authority and the Service Boards shall study public transportation problems and developments; encourage experimentation in developing new public transportation technology, financing methods, and management procedures; conduct, in cooperation with other public and private agencies, studies and demonstration and development projects to test and develop methods for improving public transportation, for reducing its costs to users or for increasing public use; and conduct, sponsor, and participate in other studies and experiments, which may include fare demonstration programs, useful to achieving the purposes of this Act. The cost for any such item authorized by this Section may be exempted by the Board in a budget ordinance from the "costs" included in determining that the Authority and its service boards meet the farebox recovery ratio or system generated revenues recovery ratio requirements of Sections 3A.10, 3B.10, 4.01(b), 4.09 and 4.11 of this Act and Section 34 of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Act during the Authority's fiscal year which begins January 1, 1986 and ends December 31, 1986, provided that the cost of any item authorized herein must be specifically approved within the budget adopted pursuant to Sections 4.01 and 4.11 of this Act for that fiscal year.
    (b) To improve public transportation service in areas of the metropolitan region with limited access to commuter rail service, the Authority and the Suburban Bus Division shall evaluate the feasibility of implementing new bus rapid transit services using the expressway and tollway systems in the metropolitan region. The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Toll Highway Authority shall work cooperatively with the Authority and the Suburban Bus Division in that evaluation and in the implementation of bus rapid transit services. The Authority and the Suburban Bus Division, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation, shall develop a bus rapid transit demonstration project on Interstate 55 located in Will, DuPage, and Cook Counties. This demonstration project shall test and refine approaches to bus rapid transit operations in the expressway or tollway shoulder or regular travel lanes and shall investigate technology options that facilitate the shared use of the transit lane and provide revenue for financing construction and operation of public transportation facilities.
    (c) The Suburban Bus Division and the Authority shall cooperate in the development, funding, and operation of programs to enhance access to job markets for residents in south suburban Cook County. Beginning in 2008, the Authority shall allocate to the Suburban Bus Division an amount not less than $3,750,000, and beginning in 2009 an amount not less than $7,500,000 annually for the costs of such programs.
(Source: P.A. 95-708, eff. 1-18-08.)