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Bird's eye view of Pace busses and trucks inside a warehouse.

Maintaining and improving the system

The capital program includes the funds used to invest in long-term maintenance and upkeep plus any improvements and expansions of the system. 

The region has a 10-year need of over $36 billion, of which about 30 percent can be funded. The vast majority of the need is for maintenance projects for the transit system's approximately 1,500 miles of track, 7,500 vehicles, 400 stations, and 70 maintenance facilities.

The 2022-2026 capital program contains $5.6 billion in funding, but more is needed to achieve regional priorities such as more equitable and sustainable transportation, and better accessibility. Explore the region's capital projects on an interactive map.

Where does capital funding come from?
How is capital funding spent?
Sunset clouds above train tracks.

The 2022-2026 Capital Program

The current capital program is available in the Proposed 2022 Operating Budget, Two-Year Financial Plan, and Five-Year Capital Program and in an interactive format on the RTA’s Mapping and Statistics website (RTAMS) on the Regional Capital Program page. The proposed 2022-2026 five-year capital program totals $5.260 billion.

The Service Boards have identified 75 Priority Projects that they would advance with additional funding in Invest in Transit and subsequent annual updates. The current 2022-2026 capital program funds a portion of the Priority Projects and about 14.5% of the total 10-year need. Four projects have been fully funded. Twenty-five do not receive any funding, showing that additional investment is needed to advance them all.

  • CTA’s five-year capital program has $3.474 billion available for capital expenditures. CTA’s capital projects are largely focused on moving the system toward a state of good repair, which includes replacing and rehabbing both buses and rail cars.
  • Metra’s five-year capital program has $1.497 billion available. Metra continues to concentrate its capital budget on improving rail cars and locomotives as well as improving stations, bridges, and the right-of- way for its trains.
  • Pace’s five-year capital program is $289.4 million. Pace continues to focus on maintaining their rolling stock as well as providing for maintenance of other assets, and also shifts the focus of capital investment into electric vehicles.

In 2022, a new performance‐based capital allocation process was adopted by the Board for federal formula and PAYGO funding, starting in the 2025 and moving forward.

2023-2027 Capital Program

The 2023-2027 Capital Program is developed throughout 2022. The RTA encourages public engagement. Key activities are:

  • May 19: Five Year Capital Program Call released by the RTA Board
  • Early June: Preliminary federal funding estimates for the region are released, see tables below.

2023-2027 Federal Formula Funding Estimates

In accordance with public participation requirements for 49 USC  §)5307 (A)(1) federally funded projects, below are the preliminary federal formula funding appropriation estimates* per Service Board for calendar years 2023-2027.

CTA

20232024202520262027

Total

Urbanized Area, Section 5307/5340170,686,166175,158,144192,038,133196,935,133201,542,764$936,361,064
Bus and Bus Facilities, Section 533913,064,50413,579,24613,996,12814,520,98315,027,765$70,188,627

State of Good Repair, Section 5337

247,113,373252,549,867256,918,980262,468,430267,612,811

$1,286,663,462

Federal Formula Total$430,864,043$442,287,257$462,953,966473,924,546$484,183,341$2,293,213,153


Metra

20232024202520262027

Total

Urbanized Area, Section 5307/5340107,635,749110,455,805106,847,459109,695,225112,384,611
547,018,849

State of Good Repair, Section 5337

144,859,564
148,046,474
150,607,678
153,860,804
156,86,476
$754,250,996
Federal Formula Total
$252,495,312
$258,502,279
$257,455,137
$263,556,029
$269,261,087
$1,301,269,845

Pace

2023
2024
2025
2026
2027

Total

Urbanized Area, Section 5307/5340
57,748,129
59,261,130
53,127,676
54,359,992

55,510,148

205,250,320
Bus and Bus Facilities, Section 5339
1,802,001
1,872,999
1,930,500
2,002,894

2,072,795

$9,334,827
Federal Formula Total
$59,550,129
$61,134,129
$55,058,177
$56,362,886
$57,582,943
$289,688,264

Regional

20232024202520262027Total

Urbanized Area, Section 5307/5340

336,070,043334,875,078352,013,993

360,990,349

369,437,5241,763,386,987
State of Good Repair, Section 5337391,972,937400,596,342407,526,658416,329,234424,489,2872,040,914,458
Bus and Bus Facilities, Section 533914,866,50515,452,24515,926,62916,523,87717,100,56179,869,816
Federal Formula Total742,909,485760,923,665775,467,280793,843,461811,027,3713,884,171,262

  • Early August: Preliminary capital funding estimates by Service Board are released, see tables below.

2023-2027 Capital Program Funding

20232024202520262027Total
CTA
Federal475,977,674447,707,257469,373,966554,599,878490,603,3412,438,262,116
State141,875,000141,875,000135,519,000

135,519,000

135,519,000690,307,000
Local105,000105,000105,000105,000105,000

525,000

Bonds171,379,57677,500,00077,500,00--326,379,576

CTA Total

789,337,250667,187,257682,497,966690,223,878626,227,341$3,455,473,692
Metra
Federal283,295,312258,502,279286,479,274263,556,029269,261,0871,361,093,982
State86,275,00073,775,00074,456,00074,456,00075,364,000384,326,000
Local5,000,000-6,166,000--11,166,000
Bonds130,000,000----130,000,000
Metra Total504,570,312332,277,279367,101,274338,012,029344,625,0871,886,585,982
Pace
Federal61,014,12976,788,12955,058,17756,362,88657,582,943

306,806,264

State11,350,00011,350,00017,025,00017,025,00016,117,00072,867,000
Local--2,055,000--2,055,000
Bonds------
Pace Total72,364,12988,138,12974,138,17773,387,88673,699,943381,728,264
SYSTEM TOTAL1,366,271,6921,087,602,6651,123,737,4171,101,623,7931,044,552,371$5,723,787,938


  • September 15: RTA Board reviews capital funding amounts for adoption
  • October/November: Service Boards hold public hearings on their Proposed Five Year-Capital Programs
  • By November 15: CTA, Metra, and Pace boards review and adopt Five Year Capital Programs to submit to the RTA.
  • November 17: Service Boards present their Five-Year Capital Programs to the RTA Board
  • November/December: RTA holds public hearings on the regional proposed Five-Year Capital Program
  • December 15: RTA Board reviews regional Five year Capital Program for adoption

See more about the process on the 2023 Regional Operating Budget and Capital Program page.

Asset Management and Project Oversight

Cars and trucks driving on the highway with a bus in its own lane.

Project Management Oversight (PMO)

The RTA is responsible for ensuring that the Service Boards are spending capital funds and managing their capital projects effectively and efficiently. The RTA conducts periodic project reviews with Service Board project managers to ensure that capital projects are being implemented according to scope, on schedule, within budget and according to established project management guidelines. 


Read the June 2022 PMO report

Strategic Asset Management

The RTA, as part of its financial oversight function, has historically maintained an interest in ensuring that the Service Boards have sufficient funding to operate and maintain their physical assets. For many years, the RTA has facilitated regional funding campaigns, overseen the issuing of bonds to provide funding for capital investments, and monitored the delivery of major projects of each of the Service Boards in order to achieve this objective. These efforts have been challenged for decades, as the lack of consistent, reliable capital funding has led to aging assets, unreliable service, and an enormous backlog of unmet capital funding needs.

Under current FTA rules, the Service Boards are now required to maintain Transit Asset Management programs, plans, and datasets for submission to the National Transit Database (NTD).

The RTA still maintains an interest in regional capital funding activities and has transitioned its TAM activities into a strategic asset management (SAM) framework to monitor the state of good repair of all of the regional transit assets of the system as a combined portfolio. The SAM function provides RTA with the tools to track mid- and long-term regional investment needs and to inform capital programming and planning processes for strategic investments, as referenced in the Framework For Transit Capital Investment and the Potential Impacts of State Funding on Transit State of Good Repair report..

Recent capital funding blog posts

Metra rail cars parking station.

Federal infrastructure dollars are flowing to the RTA system, with needed capital projects underway

Approximately $250 million in federal capital funding, largely from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)...

RTA Board approves capital amendment that adds three projects to five-year program to address safety, reliability, and bus electrification

The RTA Board in March approved adding three projects to the region’s five-year capital program that will focus on sa...

New performance-based Capital Allocation Structure relies on data and policy priorities to distribute funds

Ensuring that capital funding for the Chicago region’s transit system is spent wisely is a core function of the RTA. ...

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