Community Planning

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The RTA Community Planning program offers technical assistance and funding to local governments and intergovernmental organizations to address local planning needs that intersect public transportation and land use. Through this assistance the RTA encourages municipalities in the region to develop walkable and more sustainable communities near transit stations and along transit corridors. See details of more than 200 projects since 1998 (or search projects), and read the most recent Community Planning implementation report.

New projects for the 2020 program are listed in the table below. Click on any applicant's name in the chart below to view their project application.


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.

The RTA is on the national forefront of transit agencies providing this type of planning assistance.

Locally, the program continues to be an important tool in the region for transit-oriented development. Throughout the 21-year history of the program, the RTA has invested over $21 million in over 200 projects by partnering with:

  • CTA, Metra, and Pace
  • The six county governments
  • Several councils of mayors
  • Roughly half of all local governments that have transit service in the NE Illinois region

Eligible projects include:

Transit-oriented development (TOD) plans

Transit corridor plans

TOD developer discussion panels

TOD zoning code updates

Plans to develop special funding districts in transit areas

Transit neighborhood mobility improvement plans

Other innovative approaches to transit implementation


Who may apply: Municipalities, counties, townships, councils of government / municipal associations, groups of two or more municipalities, and the RTA Service Boards (Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace) located within the RTA's six-county service region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties) are eligible to apply to the Community Planning program. Non-governmental organizations must partner with a governmental organization to submit the application.

For assistance with planning projects beyond the above listed categories, please consider the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Local Technical Assistance Program.