This year marks the 20th anniversary of the RTA’s Community Planning program, and the RTA’s involvement in community planning as it relates to public transportation and transit-supportive land use.

By providing funds and technical assistance to complete plans as well as support to implement those plans, the RTA’s Community Planning program has encouraged municipalities in the region to develop walkable and more sustainable communities near transit stations and along transit corridors.

The RTA has been on the National forefront of transit agencies providing this type of planning assistance, and locally, the program continues to be an important tool in the region for transit-oriented development. Throughout the 20-year history of the program, the RTA has invested over $20 million in nearly 200 projects by partnering with:

  • the CTA, Metra, and Pace
  • the six county governments
  • several councils of mayors
  • roughly half of all local governments that have transit service in the NE Illinois region

The RTA conducts a call for new projects each year, during which time applicants submit project ideas for possible inclusion in the program. The 2018 Call for Projects will take place September 6 - October 26. Eligible projects include:

Transit-oriented development (TOD) plansTransit corridor plans
TOD developer discussion panelsTOD zoning code updates
Plans to develop special funding districts in transit areasTransit neighborhood mobility improvement plans
Other innovative approaches to transit implementation

Who may apply: Municipalities, counties, townships, councils of government / municipal associations, groups of two or more municipalities, and the RTA Service Boards (Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace) located within the RTA's six-county service region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties) are eligible to apply to the Community Planning program. Non-governmental organizations must partner with a governmental organization to submit the application.

For assistance with planning projects beyond the above listed categories, please consider the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Local Technical Assistance Program. This program provides staff assistance to communities across the Chicago metropolitan region to undertake planning projects that advance the principles of region’s comprehensive plan “GO TO 2040”.

Please visit the RTAMS website to view the status of Community Planning projects that are underway, read about previously completed projects and reports, and to search projects by various criteria.