RTA Helps Secure Nearly $21 Million in Capital FundingTo Increase “Access to Transit” in Region’s Transit System
February 28, 2014
By the end of 2015, commuters in LaGrange will enjoy easier access to the Metra station in their community; Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) riders will notice new development to improve traffic flow near the 35th Street/IIT Green Line station; and Pace riders will continue to enjoy the installation of sidewalks and pads for bus shelters, replacing the dirt patches that were once waiting areas. These are just a few examples of projects the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has helped support throughout the region to make it easier for riders to use and access mass transit.
The crosswalks in front of LaGrange’s Stone Avenue station, along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) line, and the increased bicycle parking will improve the transit experience for suburban riders. The enhancements in LaGrange bring to life just some of the recommendations outlined in the LaGrange Comprehensive Plan Update and BNSF Corridor plan funded through the RTA’s Community Planning program. The improvements are made possible through a $308,000 federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant along with RTA funds of $77,000.
“There was a real need for these new crosswalks so residents could safely walk to the station,” says LaGrange Village President Thomas E. Livingston. “The RTA helped us secure funding to assure the station got the upgrades it needed. These upgrades, as well as the additional bicycle parking, ultimately enhance the commuting experience and we hope incent more people to use the station and the system as a whole.”
Also in 2015, CTA riders may be using a new pedestrian plaza and crosswalks, funded by a $260,000 CMAQ grant awarded to the Chicago Department of Transportation, that implement recommendations from the RTA-funded Reconnecting Neighborhoods and South Lakefront Corridor plans.
Additionally, Pace riders will continue to enjoy nearly 100 cement pads that replaced the dirt patches where riders used to wait for buses. The pads are funded by several sources, some of which are specifically tied to the benefit for riders with disabilities, who had to wait in the grass with wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
“These projects meet real needs of transit riders and are ‘concrete’ examples of the work the RTA does every day,” said Leanne Redden, Senior Deputy Executive Director. “One of our goals is to eliminate any barrier that may exist to a person riding our transit system, and these capital projects literally build the connections necessary to retain current riders and attract new ones.”
These are just a few of the projects funded with the $20.8 million in capital dollars from various sources that help to implement recommendations from the RTA’s Five-Year Strategic Plan. The plan’s goals, developed in collaboration with the CTA, Metra and Pace, include providing valuable, reliable, accessible and attractive transportation options throughout the region.
Review the RTA’s Five-Year Strategic Plan at http://rtachicago.org/images/stories/About_the_RTA/Strategic%20Plan/Regional_Transit_Strategic_Plan_-_FINAL.pdf .
The RTA has helped secure and/or administered capital funding from a number of sources described below:
Pace was awarded $880,000 in FTA and ICE funding for 33 bus shelters and pads along Randall Road, as recommended in the Kane County Randall Road Pace Route 529 Plan Community Planning project.
Pace was awarded $600,000 in NF funding for concrete pads to replace dirt patches, making getting to Pace bus stops and shelters easier. The 65 pads that are installed allow a landing area for a wheelchair lift.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) was awarded $300,000 in ICE funding for the installation of bicycle parking facilities at CTA's Red Line 95th Street, Orange Line Western Avenue, the Red Line Loyola and Howard Street stations, Metra's Clybourn Union Pacific Northwest Line station and the Metra Electric District 55th, 56th-57th Street stations.
The Village of La Grange received $308,000 in CMAQ funding along with a $77,000 RTA match for pedestrian crossing improvements and enhanced bicycle parking, as recommended in the La Grange Comprehensive Plan Update and BNSF Corridor Plan Community Planning project.
The City of Evanston was awarded $480,000 in CMAQ funding for a bike lane on Dodge Avenue between Church Street and Howard Street, implementing recommendations for improved access to existing transit services in Evanston from the Evanston Multi-Modal Master Transportation Plan Community Planning project.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) was awarded $260,000 in CMAQ funding to improve pedestrian access at the 35th Street/IIT Green Line Station. These improvements include a pedestrian plaza and pedestrian countdown signals and crosswalks on 35th Street to improve traffic flow, as well as improved pedestrian crosswalks and curb extensions at the North Avenue and Clybourn Red Line Station, as recommended in the South Lakefront Corridor and Reconnecting NeighborhoodsCommunity Planning projects.
The Village of Glen Ellyn was awarded $151,000 in CMAQ funding and an additional $37,000 RTA match for the installation and upgrade of pedestrian countdown signals, sidewalk ramps, and new sidewalks along Pace Route 301, as recommended in theDuPage County Transit Plan Update Community Planning project.
The City of Palos Heights was awarded $620,000 in CMAQ funding and an additional $124,000 RTA match for the installation of sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian countdown signals along Pace Routes 383 and 386, as recommended in the Harlem Avenue Corridor Community Planning project.
The Village of Maywood was awarded $1.2 million in CMAQ funding for the construction of a new station house at the Maywood Metra Station, as recommended in the Maywood Station Area Planning Study Community Planning project.
The City of Aurora was awarded $1.6 million in CMAQ funding to extend Station Boulevard to the Route 59 Metra commuter parking lot. This extension will allow for improved access and additional Park-n-Ride opportunities, as recommended in the DuPage County Transit Plan Update Community Planning project.
The City of Rolling Meadows was awarded $975,000 in CMAQ funding and an additional $243,000 RTA match for the installation of sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian signal heads along Pace bus stops on Golf Road, as recommended in the Rolling Meadows Golf Road Transit and Pedestrian Mobility Study Community Planning project.
Pace was awarded $9.5 million in CMAQ funding for infrastructure improvements along Milwaukee Avenue between the Jefferson Park Blue Line Station and Golf Mill Shopping Center, including station upgrades, installation of real-time information signage, and designated lanes that allow buses priority over automobiles along the corridor. This project implements elements from the Pace Transit Signal Priority Planning for the Milwaukee Avenue Arterial Rapid Transit and Niles Bus Oriented-Development Plan for Milwaukee Avenue Community Planning projects.
Pace was awarded $2.4 million in CMAQ funding for pedestrian improvements such as sidewalk connections, shelters and bus pads along Pace Routes 350, 352, 364, 572, 529, 381, 395, 877, and 888. This funding will implement recommendations for improved pedestrian access to Pace bus service from the Kane County Randall Road Pace Route 529 Plan and Harlem Avenue Corridor Community Planning projects.
The City of Naperville was awarded $229,000 in CMAQ funding for a centralized traffic management system that synchronizes traffic signals to facilitate easier traffic flow along Washington Street, which will positively impact the implementation of recommendations from the Naperville Metra Station Bus Depot and Commuter Access Feasibility Study Community Planning project.
The Kane County Department of Transportation was awarded $1.3 million in CMAQ funding for the installation of bus shelters, waiting pads, crosswalk markings, pedestrian signals, accessible ramps and sidewalks along Pace Route 801, as recommended in the South Elgin Transit Improvement Plan and Kane County 2040 Long Range Transit Plan Community Planning projects.