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RTA in the News: RTA, Federal Funding continue to connect South Suburban riders to transit with more transit improvements

October 30, 2015

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Did you catch the Daily SouthTown’s  October 29th story, Transit-related improvements from Southland, describing just how the RTA has been helping to eliminate barriers for people choosing to take public transportation? The recent article highlights one of the four key elements in our 2013 – 2018 Regional Transit Strategic Plan which is to provide valuable, accessible, and attractive transportation options.  The Southlands will now enjoy new bike racks, bus shelters and pedestrian sidewalks, to name a few, that will make it easier for residents use the region’s transit system. Check out the article below.

Transit-related improvements for Southland

Steve Metsch, Daily Southtown

October 29, 2015

Commuters in six Southland towns will benefit from transit-related improvements financed by feds and Regional Transportation Authority.

The RTA will assign about $1 million to help pay for improvements such as sidewalks, bus shelters, bicycle racks and pedestrian crosswalks to make it easier for residents to use the region's mass transit system. The towns involved are Chicago Ridge, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Palos Heights, Richton Park and University Park.

The total cost of the 11 projects will be about $5.2 million, with $4.2 million coming from federal funds and the rest from the RTA funds, and the work will occur between 2016 and 2020, pending approval by the RTA's board of directors in December.

"These projects literally build the connections necessary to retain current riders and attract new ones. We are committed to eliminating barriers to a person riding our transit system so we are pleased to provide these funds to municipalities," RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden said in a prepared statement.

Palos Heights was awarded $620,000 in federal funds and $124,000 from the RTA for the installation of sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian countdown signals along Pace but routes, as recommended in the city's Harlem Avenue Corridor project that aims to improve that business district.

The RTA said the following projects are expected to be completed by 2020:

•Chicago Ridge received $798,000 in federal money and $200,000 in RTA funds for the installation of crosswalks, bicycle racks and other pedestrian-access work at the Metra station on Ridgeland Avenue.

•Midlothian got $784,000 from Uncle Sam and $196,000 from the RTA to put in sidewalks and crosswalks at its Metra station and make it more accessible to the disabled.

•Oak Forest was awarded nearly $452,000 in federal funding and an extra $113,000 via the RTA for improved pedestrian access and bicycle-friendly signage near the Metra station at 159th Street and Cicero Avenue.

•Richton Park received nearly $282,000 in federal dollars and another $70,000 in RTA money for pedestrian improvements connecting Metra and Pace services.

•University Park got about $394,000 from the feds and $98,000 via the RTA for pedestrian improvements to better link Pace and Metra services.

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