The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) issued a Call for Projects for its Funding Programs yesterday. The programs provide financial support for planning, operating, and capital transit projects.

The Call for Projects will allow potential applicants an opportunity to pitch ideas for projects that are innovative and will increase transit usage, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the region’s current transit system, provide for better mobility for seniors and people with disabilities, or improve job access. Applications will be accepted for the RTA’s Community Planning and Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC)/ New Freedom Programs. In an effort to expand opportunities for transportation and land use planning assistance, the RTA and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) have partnered to release a joint call for Community Planning applications.

“These Funding Programs are a tool in which we leverage RTA funds with federal, state, and local funds to directly address and advance the vision and goals of the RTA’s regional priorities initiative which is to provide reliable, convenient transit services, and enhance efficiencies through effective management innovation and technology,” said Leanne Redden, Senior Deputy Executive Director of Planning. “We are looking for new and innovative projects that are generated at the local level and will improve transportation options for residents in northeast Illinois.”

In December 2011, the RTA Board approved funding for 7 planning projects and an additional 6 Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) / New Freedom (NF) Program. Projects were funded through a combination of RTA, federal, and local funds. The projects are located within the six-county RTA service region which consists of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The RTA allocated over $14 million in federal, state and local funding to support these innovative projects that will offer a plethora of transit options to applicants through transit-oriented development and local transit improvement plans, introduction of services and capital improvements.

The RTA will also host several open houses this month to answer any questions about the application process. Open houses will be held at the following locations:


Monday, May 21st

2 pm-4 pm

RTA Headquarters

175 W Jackson Blvd

Board Room - 16th Floor



Wednesday, May 23rd

2 pm-4 pm      

Arlington Heights

Village Hall

33 S Arlington Heights Rd.

Community Meeting Room (3rd Floor)

Arlington Heights


Tuesday, May 29

2 pm-4 pm      

Orland Park Civic Center

14750 S Ravinia

Jane Barnes Annex

(South end - 1st Floor)

Orland Park

The RTA Funding Programs webpage, accessible at, provides general background information and downloadable applications and may be used by applicants to gain a better understanding of the programs. The deadline for submitting applications is August 1, 2012.


All projects funded through the following programs are consistent with the legislative mandates and the RTA’s updated strategic plan. The programs range from planning studies and initiatives to transit operating and capital projects.

Community Planning Program

The Community Planning Program is available to municipalities to create plans for local station area/transit-oriented development (TOD), local transit improvement, TOD guidelines, local coordinated paratransit plans and detailed implementation studies. More information regarding the Community Planning Program may be found at .

Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) / New Freedom (NF) Program

The JARC/NF program is available to local governments, transportation agencies, and the CTA, Metra and Pace for operating and capital projects derived from the RTA Coordinated Public Transportation Human Services Transportation Plan (HSTP) that enhance mobility for seniors, people with disabilities, and low income populations, address reverse commute markets and/or provide access to jobs. More information regarding the JARC/NF Program may be found at

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Press Contact

With three transit systems and more than two million riders a day, there is always something interesting going on at the RTA. Get the latest scoop on everything all in one place. For all media inquiries, please contact Susan Massel, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, at 312-913-3256 or at