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Collaboration

In such a large and diverse region, collaboration is crucial to achieve a more seamless transportation experience for riders. As a regional body, the RTA works to bring together the CTA, Metra, and Pace on everything from pandemic response and climate action to installing signage to make it easier to transfer from one service to another. 

An electric CTA bus and a diesel CTA bus with skyscrapers and trees in the background.
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Our Climate Rides on Transit

Given that transportation is the largest cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Illinois, our region’s transit system is our strongest tool in the fight against climate change. Public transportation reduces carbon emissions, reduces reliance on fossil fuels, and reduces congestion in ways and at a scale nothing else can.

The RTA strongly supports the commitments of the CTA, Metra, and Pace to reducing reliance on fossil fuels, including that all public transit buses in the region will be zero emission/electric by 2040—and that these bus electrification strategies will be implemented equitably. Read more at https://www.pacebus.com/zero or https://www.transitchicago.com...

Recent RTA reports:

  • Flooding Resiliency Plan for Bus Operations. Completed in 2018, this project identified CTA and Pace bus routes that are prone to flooding during both average rain events and extreme weather events. A plan of recommendations was developed that identifies ways to mitigate flooding issues in the future as well as ways to reroute service during flooding events. 
  • Metra Locomotive Alternative Fuel Study. Completed in 2019, the RTA and Metra investigated the feasibility of converting some portion or all of Metra’s locomotive fleet from diesel fuel to a form of natural gas or other alternative fuel. 

Read how Chicago's transit system is going green, in a blog post:

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A CTA bus on a congested street next to a traffic signal.
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Transit Signal Priority

The RTA leads the Regional Transit Signal Priority Implementation program to improve bus speed and reliability at 500 intersections along 100 miles of roadway in 13 priority corridors in the Chicago region.

Dozens of people getting on and off an elevated CTA train with a CTA bus driving parallel to it on the street below.
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What is TSP?

TSP uses wireless technology to improve transit speed and reliability. By modifying traffic signal timing when transit vehicles are present to advance or extend the green light, TSP allows a CTA or Pace bus to continue through an intersection when the bus is running behind schedule—helping to reduce travel times and ensure on-time arrivals. The program is funded by a $40 million federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant.

Read more

Interagency Signage

The RTA has developed a series of signs, maps, route diagrams and schedules to help riders more easily navigate the regional transit system. To date, more than 1,000 signs have been installed at key locations where CTA, Metra, or/and Pace intersect. The signage system has three types of products: wayfinding signs, identification signs, and service information panels, which include route maps, timetables, and connection information. All of these products are designed to make transferring between services seamless and intuitive

Signage at a Metra station showing train and bus connections and a neighborhood map.
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The RTA’s Interagency Signage program began in 2012. At that time, federal grant funds were used to implement new wayfinding signage and transit service information at key interagency transit locations throughout the Chicago region. Based on extensive user research and testing, the RTA developed an Interagency Design Standards Manual which is continuously updated as more signs are installed around the region. Pictures of all the installed signage and proposed locations can be seen via a story map.

More details about the program’s 2017-2021 accomplishments can be found in a report and explored via an interactive story map, both published in June 2021.

Click below to watch a June 2022 Webinar about the program.

Collaboration related blog posts

A Divvy bikeshare rack full of bikes with a CTA train at the Cermak Chinatown station and skyscrapers in the background

How the Chicago region’s transit system is going even greener

Reducing carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels has never been more important, and increasing transit use is o...

RTA installs signage, releases new system map to help riders navigate return to transit

As riders return to CTA, Metra, and Pace following the pandemic, they can make use of new RTA-installed signage and a...

Transit Signal Priority: an “Invisible” Benefit for Riders

Today the Chicago Tribune highlighted Pace’s new “Pulse” service, an express route with fewer stops and other feature...

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