Invest in Transit


2018-2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan for Chicago and Northeastern Illinois

Our vision is public transit as the core of the region's
robust transportation mobility network.

Northeastern Illinois and the City of Chicago depend on safe, reliable trains and buses to get two million riders where they need to go every day. The 2018-2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan, Invest in Transit, is the region’s case for pursuing dependable funding streams that will enable the Transit Agencies to provide this vital service well into the future. Unfortunately, capital funding has been limited and unpredictable over the past ten years. A capital program of $2 to $3 billion every year would allow the region to make significant improvements.

Chicago and Northeastern Illinois are built on transit and our investment is at risk.

We aim to . . .


This goal focuses on the positive impacts of transit investment and the importance of increasing funding.


This goal focuses on the service improvements and infrastructure investments that the Transit Agencies would like to make in key transit markets throughout the region.


This goal focuses on the vital role that transit plays as part of the region's mobility network and strategies for adapting to the evolving needs of riders.

What our future could hold.

Invest in Transit outlines strategies for achieving the three goals. It also includes a list of Priority Projects, the key initiatives that the Transit Agencies cannot complete at current funding levels, but which are necessary to ensure continued high-quality transit for the region. Two possible realities lie ahead: a future with or without long-term, sustainable capital and operating funding.

$30B of priority projects are not fully funded today.


Stable funding allows agencies to build projects shortly after they are designed.

Vehicles are rehabilitated when needed and replaced on time. The system is newer overall and the agencies have funding to make customer improvements.

Service is reliable and fast. Agencies innovate to stay competitive and can experiment or pilot new programs to meet new rider needs.

Transit stays competitive.


The stop-go nature of funding means that some projects are designed and then wait in queue for delivery while prices rise and plans change.

Vehicles are kept in service longer and rebuilt or overhauled rather than replaced. The overall system is older so operating and maintenance costs rise.

Service is slower. Breakdowns in rail cars and buses, or problems with aging signal equipment, lead to unreliable service.

Transit is unable to compete against personal autos and private services.

Now is the time to act.