RTA awards funds to 9 Chicago projects

Written by Kyra Senese, managing editor
Regional Transportation Authority
File photo courtesy of Metra

Nine projects in the Chicago area are recipients of awards through the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA) Community Planning program.

The RTA, the agency that oversees the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace Suburban Bus and Pace ADA-Paratransit, sought public feedback regarding nine Chicago-area projects in February.

Following the feedback phase, the RTA has announced it will allocate $906,000 to the projects. The funds consist of about $200,000 of federal funding, $174,000 in locally-matched funds and $532,000 of RTA funds.

The funds will allow for what the RTA describes as innovative projects that are aimed at improving economic development near transit and that boost transit use throughout the region.

So far, the RTA said it has used more than $20 million in funds during the two decades through which the program has been in effect.

“Through Community Planning, the RTA awards funding and technical assistance for projects that create transit-supportive local plans,” said Leanne Redden, executive director of the RTA. “These projects can transform underutilized areas around transit assets such as train stations and bus stops into bustling downtowns and neighborhoods that feel more urban, lively and pedestrian friendly.”

The RTA said it received 14 applications and nine of the applicant projects are included in the final program. The RTA invited transportation providers, communities and counties to apply for technical assistance through the authority’s Community Planning program.

The applicants that received awards include: the city of Cary, for a TOD Plan; the city of Chicago and the Chicago Department Of Transportation (CDOT), for a study of 31st Street Little Village Corridor; the city of Crystal Lake, for a Crystal Lake and Pingree Road TOD Plan; and Elevated Chicago, for Workplan Implementation Assistance.

The village of Itasca received awards for a Downtown Strategic Action Plan Update; Metra received funds for its Station Optimization Analysis; Pace  was awarded for its I-294 Tri-State Transit Market and Facilities Assessment; the village of Park Forest was awarded for a Transportation Alternatives Study; and the village of Riverside received funds for a TOD Zoning Code Update.

Officials said applications for the awarded funding were considered based on each project’s alignment with the recommendations of the Regional Transit Strategic Plan, feasibility of the proposed project and the applicant’s ability to implement the plan or project.

The RTA’s Community Planning program provides funding and planning assistance to projects that benefit the community and the regional transit system.

The program includes projects involved with transit-oriented development (TOD) planning, corridor planning and TOD implementation.

Categories: Commuter/Regional, News, Rapid Transit/Light Rail
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