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Strategic Planning

The RTA is responsible for financial, strategic, and long-term planning for transit in Northeastern Illinois. Under state law, the RTA board is required to adopt a Strategic Plan no less than every five years. Invest in Transit, the region’s current plan, was adopted in 2018. The agency is currently working on the 2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan, which will be released as a draft for public comment in December 2022 and considered by the RTA Board for adoption in February 2023.

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2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan

The RTA is developing a strategic and financial plan to guide our region’s irreplaceable transit system over the next five years and beyond. The plan will be released for public comment in December and considered for adoption by the RTA Board of Directors in early 2023.

Vision: Safe, reliable, accessible public transportation that connects people to opportunity, advances equity, and combats climate change.
Principles: Committed to change | Equity | Stewardship

2023 Agenda for Advocacy and Action

Months of public input and working group engagement have informed the agenda below, which represents key priorities for the plan that the RTA and the Service Boards can take action on together, and those that will need advocacy from regional and state partners.


  • Secure increased funding for transit operations​.
  • Develop a budget less reliant on rider fares, but instead focused on expanding access to opportunity.​
  • Build a coalition around the value transit brings to the Chicago region.​
  • Support communities’ efforts to improve the area around their transit stations and stops and pursue equitable transit-oriented development. ​
  • Engage with communities in an inclusive and transparent way about how transit dollars are spent in the Chicago region. ​
  • Secure increased funding for transit infrastructure. ​
  • Partner with roadway agencies to build more transit-friendly streets and advance bus rapid transit.​


  • Make the transit system safer and more secure for everyone. ​
  • Use new funding as a catalyst to create a fully accessible transit system. ​
  • Provide more accurate, real-time travel information for riders. ​
  • Make paying for transit more seamless and more affordable.​
  • Accelerate the transition to a near-zero emission regional transit system and prioritize communities burdened by poor air quality. ​
  • Assess the regional capital program in a new way including considerations for racial equity and mobility justice.​
  • Adapt bus and rail service to meet the changing needs of riders.

Read the full 2023 Agenda for Advocacy and Action.


How is the plan being developed?

A graphic showing the Regional Transit Strategic Plan timeline for all tracks.
Financial Planning
Strategic Planning
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Latest updates on the strategic plan

Subscribe to the Regional Transit Update e-newsletter for regular updates on the 2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan or read recent updates below.


Recent articles on the strategic plan

Someone at an engagement event fills out a sign saying they hope their transit system has affordable fares in the future.

RTA engages with riders at community events, publishes survey to hear from you on future of transit

More than a year into development of the next regional transit strategic plan, the RTA is continuing to engage with n...

RTA Strategic Plan Stakeholder Working Groups conclude, discuss priority recommendations for 2023 Agenda for Advocacy and Action

After months of working together to develop recommended goals, strategies, and performance measures, the RTA Strategi...

Initial work on RTA 10-Year Financial Plan focuses on future regional budget gaps to inform strategic solutions

The RTA is halfway through development of the next Regional Transit Strategic Plan, which will guide the future of tr...

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Invest in Transit

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

The RTA's current plan, Invest in Transit: The 2018-2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan was adopted in January 2018 after two years of research, close collaboration with the CTA, Metra, and Pace, and outreach to stakeholders. Invest in Transit sets a bold vision for “transit as the core of the region’s robust transportation mobility network” and underscores the importance of sustainable capital funding in achieving three strategic goals. The plan has guided the collective work of the transit agencies since its passage and yielded success with the passage of Rebuild Illinois in 2019.

Plan Documents

Invest in Transit: The 2018-2023 Regional Transit Strategic Plan 
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Invest In Transit: Plan in Brief 
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Invest In Transit: Priority Projects 
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Annual Progress Report 2020
Annual Progress Report 2019 

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