A native of Maria Stein, Ohio, a small town near Lima, Ohio, I left for the "big city" (Chicago) in the early 1980s to study transportation and public policy in graduate school before working as a pricing analyst at United Airlines. In 1991, I finished my Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. For almost 20 years, I have studied transportation through my role as director of the Chaddick Institute (a center devoted to studying urban issues) at DePaul University in downtown Chicago.
My work explores intercity transportation systems and the changing shape of metropolitan regions. Most of my research focuses on the changing competitive landscape of air, bus, and rail systems and the historical evolution of these systems. Since 2009, I have conducted an annual review of the changes underway in the intercity bus sector; much of my earlier work, including two books I have written, focuses on the historical evolution of cities and metropolitan Chicago.