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RTA Funding Programs Seek Innovative Projects to Increase Transit Usage

April 6, 2011

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) began accepting applications today for transit-related projects through its Funding Programs. 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, Subregional 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 Strategic Plan,” 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 the northeast Illinois region and its residents.”

In December 2010, the RTA Board approved funding for 11 planning projects and an additional 7 Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) / New Freedom (NF) Program. Projects were funded through a combination of federal and local funds. The projects are located throughout the six-county RTA service region which consists of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The RTA allocated over $9.1 million in federal, state and local funding to support 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 Funding Programs webpage provides general background information and can be used by applicants to gain a better understanding of the programs.


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 can be found at .

Subregional Planning Program

The Subregional Planning Program is available to counties, townships, councils of Mayors, the City of Chicago, and the CTA, Metra, and Pace. Eligible planning projects include Subregional and market focused plans such as transit service restructuring studies or efforts focused on developing specific market opportunities; countywide or Subregional transit improvement studies, transit-oriented development studies and paratransit studies. More information regarding the Subregional Planning Program can 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 can be found at .

Press Information

Melissa Meyer

Communications Manager
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