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RTA Awards Nine Community Planning Projects

February 27, 2020

Contact:  Susan Massel, Director of Marketing and Communications

RTA allocates $979,000 to leverage transit assets

CHICAGO – The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is announcing the award of nine projects through its Community Planning program. The RTA will allocate $979,000 to these projects, made up of approximately $233,000 of federal funding; $200,000 in locally matched funds; and $546,000 of RTA funds. These dollars support innovative projects to improve economic development near transit and increase transit usage throughout the region. To date the RTA has leveraged over $21 million through the 21-year history of this program.

“Through Community Planning, the RTA awards funding and technical assistance for projects that create transit-supportive local plans,” said Leanne Redden, Executive Director of the RTA. “These projects can transform underutilized areas around transit assets such as train stations and bus stops into bustling downtowns and neighborhoods that feel more urban, lively and pedestrian friendly.”

Communities, counties, and transportation providers were invited to apply for technical assistance through the RTA’s Community Planning program. Applications were evaluated based on each project’s alignment with the recommendations of Invest in Transit, feasibility of the proposed project, and the applicant’s ability to implement the plan or project. Of the fourteen applications received, nine are included in the final program.  For more information visit the RTA’s Community Planning website.

The Community Planning program provides funding and planning assistance to projects that benefit the community and the regional transit system. The program includes a mix of transit-oriented development (TOD) planning, corridor planning, and TOD implementation projects.

2020 Project Recipient List



Project Type

Project Description

Calumet Park

Calumet Park TOD Developer Discussion Panel

The RTA will convene a Developer Discussion Panel to assist the Village’s efforts to attract transit- oriented development (TOD) at a vacant ~6-acre site located directly adjacent to the Metra Electric Ashland Avenue station. The Village would like to benefit from developer expertise on how to attract and consider development proposals that optimize the neighboring transit asset and align with local and regional goals.

Chicago Department of Planning and Development

High Priority Commercial Corridors Plan

The RTA will assist the City with a city-led initiative to provide transformative changes along neglected commercial corridors within select south and west community areas. Work along the high-priority corridors would include identifying ways for focusing resources and priorities to the benefit of the communities.

Chicago Transit Authority

North Branch Area Bus Network Enhancements Plan

The RTA will assist the CTA with developing a framework for bus enhancements that identifies key routes for improvements and concepts to make bus service a more attractive travel option in the North Branch area of Chicago. The plan will be developed in coordination with other transportation analyses in the corridor and include a study of a new transitway connecting the area to downtown. The combined analyses will provide guidance for the City and developers and will facilitate implementation for a program of transportation improvements that can accommodate the expected growth in the area.

Chicago Ward 45

Milwaukee Ave. Corridor Plan

The RTA will convene a Developer Discussion Panel in Chicago’s 45th Ward to gather guidance and advice from development experts. The objective is to attract development to vacant sites and encourage infill development. The Developer Discussion Panel will help the Ward Alderman and the City determine goals and needs in order to best utilize vacant land along North Milwaukee Avenue near the Jefferson Park Transportation Center.

DuPage County Department of Transportation

DuPage County Mobility Plan

The RTA will assist DuPage County to develop its first county-wide mobility plan. The plan will be multi-modal in nature, analyze current gaps in the transportation network, respond to the changing transportation market and address the needs of employers in the County to attract quality labor at all employment levels.


Elburn TOD Plan

The RTA will assist the Village with developing a TOD plan for the areas near the Elburn Metra station and downtown Elburn. Plan objectives include identifying ways to unify the downtown business district with TOD development south of the station into a connected and vibrant area that serves the entire town, is an area shopping and dining destination, and incorporates the Metra station as a focal point.

Hanover Park

Hanover Park TOD Zoning Code Update

The RTA will assist the Village with updating the zoning code for its Village Center TOD area in an effort to enable the type of development envisioned in its TOD Plan. Zoning revisions will address parking requirements, number of dwelling units per acre, allowable land uses and the development review process.


Harvey TOD Plan Update

The RTA will assist the City to update its TOD Plan that was completed in 2005 for areas surrounding the Pace Harvey Transportation Center, including the Metra station, the adjacent civic campus and points west to connect to residential areas and the University of Chicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Hospital. The plan will address population loss, leverage improvements underway at the Transportation Center and provide new insights to high-density, transit-supportive, quality infill development.

University Park

University Park TOD Plan Update

The RTA will assist the Village to update its TOD plan that was completed in 2002 for the University Park Metra station. The study will include an analysis of surrounding land uses and zoning codes, local road safety improvements and a last mile mobility strategy.



Press Information

Melissa Meyer

Communications Manager
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