The Chicago Infrastructure Trust (CIT) has received four responses to its Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for design-build work and maintenance for the O'Hare Express operating system.
The project is intended to bring express service at 20 minutes or less to travel from downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport (ORD), cutting commute times by more than half.
“Four visionary groups have stepped forward because they see what we see – a connected Chicago is a stronger Chicago,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “Strengthening connections between the economic engines of downtown Chicago and O’Hare airport will build on Chicago’s legacy of innovation and pay dividends for generations to come.”
The CIT received responses from the following respondents:
- The Boring Company
- Oaktree Capital Management
- O’Hare Express Train Partners (OHL Infrastructure, Kiewit, Amtrak)
- O’Hare Xpress LLC (Meridiam, Antarctica Capital, JLC Infrastructure, Mott MacDonald and First Transit)
The CIT and the city will move forward with evaluations of the statements of qualifications, and after reviewing the qualified respondents, CIT will work toward the issuance of a Request for Proposals to qualified bidders, officials said.
“We look forward to reviewing the submissions and continuing to move this important project forward,” Chicago Treasurer and CIT Chair Kurt Summers said.
The RFQ specifies that the O’Hare Express Service should include a station located in the downtown area, an ORD station and one maintenance facility, and corridors may be located above or below surface level.
Officials said goals of the project include reaching travel times at 20 minutes in length or shorter, with service frequency available at least every 15 minutes for the majority of the day. Any proposal must also acknowledge potential conflicts or impacts on existing transportation systems and the environment, as well as stating how such conflicts would be avoided or minimized.
The RFQ also requires that the O’Hare Express Service be funded only by project-specific revenues, such as through fares or advertising, and that the project should be financed entirely by the chosen team.