CTA Red Line Extension project advances to federal funding phase

Written by RT&S Staff
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The CTA’s Red Line Extension project has moved one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Red Line Extension (RLE) project, which will be one of the most critical and transformative investments for Chicago’s Far South Side communities and benefitting the entire city of Chicago, is one step closer to becoming reality.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the CTA, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), announced the publication of the combined Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Record of Decision (ROD) and Final Section 4(f) Evaluation for the RLE Project. This is a significant milestone that paves the way for the CTA to advance to the next steps of the federal New Starts funding program. 

“I am thrilled to see the Red Line Extension project move one step closer to becoming a reality,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This transformative project will improve the lives of South Side residents and their communities who will be able to access all that our city has to offer with ease. My administration is committed to investing in economic vibrancy and opportunity through projects like this throughout our city, but especially on our South and West sides.”

The ROD is the conclusion of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) EIS process and is the official FTA decision document regarding the project’s environmental impacts and mitigation. The ROD and the Final EIS, which are combined into a single document, include a list of mitigation commitments related to the impacts identified in the Final EIS.

Public and agency engagement and feedback have been vital to the development and refinement of the RLE Project since the publication of the Draft EIS in 2016 and the Supplemental EA in January 2022. Community input has been and will remain essential in helping shape this project and its path forward.

The RLE Project will extend Chicago’s most-traveled rail line from the existing terminal at 95th Street to 130th Street. The 5.6-mile extension includes four new stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street. The project’s modern, efficient railcar storage yard and maintenance facility would benefit the entire Red Line.  

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