2018 Program

In October of 2017, the RTA was awarded funding from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program for seven Access to Transit Improvement Program projects that will improve bike and pedestrian access to our regional transit system. A total of $2.3 million in federal, local and RTA funds will be invested in capital improvements such as sidewalks, crosswalks, bus shelters, signage and covered bike parking at transit stations. Please see the table below for details on the approved projects.

ProjectCMAQ ShareLocal ShareRTA ShareTotal Budget

Village of Bensenville - Metra Station Access Improvements

This project will improve access to the Bensenville Metra Station through the construction of new sidewalks and bike parking at the station and along the adjacent Railroad Ave. Additionally, the commuter parking lot will be reconfigured to enhance pedestrian and transit access to the station through the addition of a bus shelter and sidewalks. Other improvements include widened sidewalks, ornamental roadway lighting, bike racks, crosswalks, and a bus layover area.

$400,000 $100,000 $0 $500,000

Village of Brookfield - Metra Station Bicycle Parking

This project will add covered bicycle parking at both the Congress Park and Brookfield Metra Stations. Twenty-four racks will be installed at Congress Park and 12 at Brookfield. These stations currently have some of the highest walk mode-of-access shares among all stations on the BNSF line.

$221,720 $41,573 $13,858 $277,150

City of Chicago Heights - Pace Route Access Improvements

The project will add access improvements to the Chicago Heights Pace terminal located at 16th St. and Vincennes Ave. They include replacement of existing sidewalks, adding ADA-compliant crosswalks, a bus staging lane and covered bike parking.

$99,936 $12,492 $12,492 $124,920

Village of Melrose Park - Metra Station and Pace Route Access Improvements

This project will add various pedestrian improvements to the Broadway Avenue corridor, north of the Melrose Park Metra Station, which is served by Pace Route 303. Pace Routes 309 and 313 also intersect the corridor at Lake Street. Improvements that include high-visibility crosswalks and decorative-marked intersections will be installed at three intersections with one of the intersections also receiving curb bump-outs and relocation of a bus stop along with bus shelters at Main and Broadway. Bike parking will also be added at the Metra station.

$299,200 $56,100 $18,700 $374,000

City of Northlake - Pace Route Access Improvements

This project will repair a gap in the sidewalk connectivity along Wolf Road near North Avenue. Repairs will allow pedestrians to directly cross the intersection of Wolf Road and an access to drive to a shopping center. This section of Wolf Road is served by Pace Route 309 and Routes 318 and 320 operate nearby on North Avenue. Two bus shelters will also be constructed at the stops just to the south of this intersection as part of the project.

$183,936 $34,488 $11,496 $229,920

Village of Olympia Fields - Metra Station and Pace Route Access Improvements

The project will add a new sidewalk on the north side of Lincoln Highway to connect residential and commercial developments to the east with the 211th Street Metra station on the Metra Electric; a distance of roughly three-quarters of a mile. Improvements also include lighting under the Metra/CN bridge on Lincoln Highway, as well as landscaping.

$400,000 $75,000 $25,000 $500,000

City of Waukegan - Metra Station and Pace Route Access Improvements

This project will add multi-modal access improvements to multiple Pace Routes on the Washington Street corridor. Route 572 is the primary route that serves the corridor, although Route 562 also serves portions of the corridor and four others connect to it (561, 565, 566, 569). Improvements include bus shelters and concrete pads, wayfinding to important destinations, curb extensions at the intersection with the Robert McClory Bike Path, crosswalk improvements along the project area, and bike parking at the Metra station.

$208,704 $39,132 $13,044 $260,880
 Total Budget $1,813,496 $358,785 $94,590 $2,266,870

Program Overview

The RTA established the Access to Transit Improvement Program to seek capital funding for small-scale projects that increase pedestrian and bicycle access to the transit system.  The Access to Transit Improvement Program is intended to leverage RTA and local funds with federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funding to help implement recommendations contained in studies completed through the RTA’s Community Planning program or CMAP’S Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program.  Projects selected as part of the RTA’s Access to Transit Improvement Program will be assisted by RTA staff in developing information required for a CMAP application.  Projects will then be bundled into one application submitted to the CMAQ program. Through three phases of the program, the RTA has successfully secured nearly $10 million in federal, local and RTA funds for 22 projects throughout the region. Please see the list of active projects for more information on improvements funded through the program.

Funding for the program is contingent upon RTA-supported projects being accepted into the CMAQ program and RTA Board approval of matching funds in future annual budgets.  That said, RTA would like to assist communities with the CMAQ application process and is looking for communities to partner with despite the funding uncertainty. 

Program Requirements

Eligible applicants must have completed, or be in the process of completing, a plan through either the RTA’s Community Planning program or CMAP’s LTA Program and be located within the RTA’s six-county service area (Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Will).  Eligible projects include small-scale capital improvements that demonstrate the ability to increase ridership and improve access to existing transit stations, stops and services.  Projects are ready for submission if the planning work is complete and the project can initiate or finish Phase I Engineering (if needed) by the time of application.  Applicants must also have buy-in on the project from local staff and elected officials. 

Program Timeline

The Access to Transit Improvement Program funding awards are contingent upon funding being made available through the CMAQ program. Potential applicants must first initiate Phase I Engineering (if necessary). Applicants then submit applications to the RTA. The RTA reviews all requests and then makes a determination of which projects will be bundled and submitted by the RTA as one application to the CMAQ program.


Please direct any questions to:

Michael Horsting, AICP
Manager, Local Planning
Regional Transportation Authority
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