Interagency Signage

Sign of Bus Times

The RTA has developed a series of signs, maps, route diagrams and schedules to help riders more easily navigate the regional transit system. All of these products are designed to complement and reinforce each other, making transferring between services seamless and intuitive. The plan is to deploy these signs and information products at major transfer points where CTA, Metra and Pace services connect.

The interagency signage program is a collaborative effort between the RTA, its Service Boards, (CTA, Metra and Pace) and municipal partners. Substantial customer testing was used to help refine the design and messaging of the signage products.

The new signage system has three types of products; wayfinding signs, identification signs and service information panels, which include route maps, timetables and connection information.

Four test locations were installed in 2013 at the following locations:

  • Van Buren Street Station: Connecting the Metra Electric line, South Shore line, CTA rapid transit lines and buses, and Pace buses
  • Davis St., Evanston: Connecting the Metra Union Pacific – North line, CTA Purple Line and buses, and Pace buses
  • Joliet Transportation Center: Connecting the Metra Rock Island and Heritage Corridor lines, Pace buses and Amtrak train services
  • 95th and Western: Connecting CTA and Pace buses

In August 2014, the RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace completed the RTA Interagency Transit Passenger Design Standards Manual. These design standards were based on experience from the test sites and are essential for promoting consistency across RTA transit services. In addition to using the design standards for this project, the standards are being used by the Service Boards and other transportation agencies throughout the region to promote transit connections in a consistent manner.

Sign installation has continued at other major connection points in Downtown Chicago over the past several years, including:

  • LaSalle Street Station: Connecting the Metra Rock Island Line to CTA buses and the CTA LaSalle/Van Buren and LaSalle Blue Line stations
  • Chicago Union Station and the Union Station Transit Center: Connecting Amtrak; Metra Milwaukee District North, Milwaukee District West, North Central Service, BNSF, Heritage Corridor and Southwest lines; CTA Blue, Red, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple lines and 13 bus routes

The next phase of the project involved fabrication and installation of signs at seven new locations in 2018:

Harvey (ME-ML)
Mayfair - Montrose (MD-N, Blue) Lisle (BNSF)
Lake Cook Rd (MD-N) Elgin (MD-W) Naperville (BNSF)
Museum Campus/11 St -CTA Roosevelt (ME, Red, Orange, Green)  


The RTA completed installation of signs at these 7 locations in November 2018.

Looking forward, RTA has begun work on the next group of six stations where signs will be installed in 2019:

Oak Park - Harlem/Lake (UP-W, Green)  Jefferson Park (UP-NW, Blue)  Irving Park (UP-NW, Blue) 
Main St – Main (UP-N, Purple)   Wheaton (UP-W) Waukegan (UP-N) 

RTA, the Service Boards and design consultants have recently completed signage plans for each of the locations. The plans include sign content and sign placement details. RTA has also conducted outreach to property owners where the signs will be placed – including railroads and municipalities. Over the next several months, an IFB will be issued for bids to fabricate and install this group of signs in 2019.

In 2020, RTA expects to continue signage installation at Downtown Chicago sites including Ogilvie Transportation Center and Millennium Station – as well as making further updates to the signage at Chicago Union Station and LaSalle Street Station. The RTA will also install signage at the Aurora Transportation Center and the Blue Island/Vermont Street Metra stations.

RTA is excited to see the successful adoption of the Interagency Design Standards throughout the regional transit network, with both CTA and Pace adopting the standards for new signs at locations including I-90, Rosemont, Jefferson Park Transportation Center and 95th/Dan Ryan.