Contact Contact

RTA selects projects for Access to Transit program, bringing bike and pedestrian improvements throughout the region

March 21, 2024

22 RTA 0922

The RTA has selected nine new projects for its Access to Transit program, which provides funding to municipalities to complete engineering and construction for small-scale capital improvements, such as filling sidewalk gaps and installing covered bicycle parking, that improve connections to transit for people who walk, ride, or roll to transit services. This group of new projects will be the seventh group accepted to the Access to Transit program, which has funded 46 projects since the program began.

Five of the nine awards will fund Phase II Engineering and Construction and will be announced next year when the RTA learns if it has successfully obtained federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funding. The remaining four projects will fund Phase I Engineering for future pedestrian and bike facility projects in transit areas. Phase I Engineering is frequently a challenge for communities of high need, so the RTA will fund 100 percent of the engineering costs, estimated at $220,000 total. Work on these projects can begin later this year.

The RTA began offering funding for Phase I Engineering in 2021 to extend the benefits of the Access to Transit program to high and moderate need communities. This initial step in the planning process can be prohibitively expensive for communities with a smaller local tax base. All communities who receive Phase I Engineering funding this year can apply for Phase II Engineering and Construction during the RTA’s next call for projects so long as their project remains eligible for CMAQ funding.


The RTA has awarded $55,000 to the City of Harvey for future improvements that include an on-street bike lane along portions of 155th Street between Broadway and Lexington avenues, as well as three crosswalks along the corridor. The project will resurface the roadway as a prerequisite to installing the bike lane and making intersection improvements. The project would directly support access to Pace bus route 364 as well as to the Harvey Transportation Center and the Harvey Metra Electric station.

Hazel Crest

The RTA has awarded $55,000 to the Village of Hazel Crest for future improvements that include a side path connector, raised crosswalks, and pedestrian scaled lighting at key intersections. The side path connector would widen the existing sidewalk from 5 feet to 8 feet on 170th Street from Park Avenue to Dixie Highway. Additional improvements would include pedestrian lighting and raised crosswalks at key intersections. The widened side path would serve pedestrians and cyclists accessing the Hazel Crest Metra Station that serves the Metra Electric line as well as Pace riders using Route 356, which crosses the study area along Wood Street.


The RTA has awarded $55,000 to the Village of Niles for future improvements that include a side path along the south side of Dempster Street between Cumberland and Milwaukee avenues. Proposed improvements include a 10-foot side path, ADA ramp improvements at signalized intersections, and other associated tasks that include potential utility relocations and fence improvements. The proposed side path will connect existing Pace transit stops on Dempster, two of which have been upgraded to Pace Dempster Pulse Line stations (Cumberland and Milwaukee). One will remain as a stop for the Pace Bus Route 250 (Dempster at Grand), which currently lacks sufficient pedestrian access.


The RTA has awarded $55,000 to the City of Waukegan for various improvements to ADA compliance, pedestrian access, and wayfinding signage at Waukegan's downtown transit hub. Proposed improvements would include a mid-block flashing beacon pedestrian crosswalk on Sheridan, painted crosswalks at Washington and Spring, and realigned curbs and ramps at intersections to improve pedestrian safety. Also proposed are safety improvements for motorists in the area, including left turn pavement markings and three-way stop signs and stop bars that indicate motorists to yield to pedestrians. The proposed improvements would serve pedestrians accessing the Waukegan Metra station on the Union Pacific North line as well as Pace Bus Routes 565, 568, 571, and 572.

“We were delighted to hear that the City of Waukegan will be receiving this grant from the RTA,” said Waukegan Mayor Ann B. Taylor. “Our grant request targeted Waukegan’s transit hub and transit services located in our downtown and lakefront areas with a focus on improving access for commuters and increasing general ridership of public transportation in our community. We look forward to working with the RTA, PACE and Metra on this Phase 1 Engineering Study as we address accessibility, pedestrian safety, and intersection improvements along our public transit corridor.”

Learn more about past Access to Transit projects on RTAMS, the RTA’s mapping and statistics website.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required
Type your email address here
What emails would you like to receive from the RTA
Tagged in: Access to Transit | RTAMS

Related Articles

22 RTA1127 Explore 2023 RTA Local Planning projects and successes in interactive implementation report

Every year, the RTA’s Local Planning department assists local governments throughout northeastern Illinois on projects that strengthen the region’s transit s...

April 18, 2024
22 RTASAMPLES 007 2 Coalition members provide feedback on rider safety, free and reduced fare programs, and legislative goals

Over 80 riders, agency staff, advocates, and other stakeholders met virtually with the RTA on April 10 for the fourth quarterly Transit is the Answer Coaliti...

April 12, 2024
Aerial shot of the Joliet Metra station next to a baseball field Corridor study, finance district studies, eTOD: Community Planning projects kick off throughout the region

This spring, four projects have kicked off that will make communities throughout the Chicago region more transit-friendly, thanks to support from the RTA Com...

March 29, 2024
22 RTA 0922 RTA selects projects for Access to Transit program, bringing bike and pedestrian improvements throughout the region

The RTA has selected nine new projects for its Access to Transit program, which provides funding to municipalities to complete engineering and construction f...

March 21, 2024
Rtacab RTA launches new, rider-focused Citizens Advisory Board

Following through on a key recommendation from our Transit is the Answer strategic plan, the RTA is excited to launch a newly expanded Citizens Advisory Boar...

March 21, 2024
Low line RTA’s Community Planning Call for Projects with a new Transit Station Activation pilot category aims to fund initiatives that make stations and bus stops more welcoming

Imagine stepping off the train at the end of your workday and being greeted by a local artist exhibit, or a farmers’ market with healthy food to browse and b...

March 12, 2024
Copyright © 2024 Regional Transportation Authority. All Rights Reserved.