The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) in Chicago presented to its board of directors yesterday a list of 13 planning, operating and capital projects through its funding programs. The RTA is proposing to allocate nearly $14 million in federal, local and RTA funds to support innovative projects that will plan for and increase transit usage, provide multi-modal connections, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local transit, improve access to jobs, and help increase mobility for its region’s seniors, people with disabilities and the general public. The RTA is soliciting public comments regarding the recommended projects through Sept. 30.
The public is encouraged to learn more about these proposed projects by visiting the RTA Funding Programs Comment website at www.rtachicago.com. Comments regarding the programs and individual projects can be made through the website or the RTA telephone comment line at 312-913-5516.
“Through these programs, the RTA provides leadership by funding projects that provide an opportunity for recipients to create transit-supportive plans or implement services based on local needs. Aside from helping to reduce congestion on busy highways and improve our air quality, these proposed projects will offer commuters multi-modal options, create jobs and build and sustain livable communities,” said Leanne Redden, senior deputy executive director of planning.
Communities, counties, transportation providers and private non-profit organizations were invited to apply for grants through the agency’s funding programs: Community Planning, Subregional Planning and Job Access Reverse Commute/New Freedom (JARC/NF). Out of the 18 proposals submitted, 13 are being recommended in the preliminary programs of projects based on their ability to advance RTA strategic priorities. Additionally, all selected projects require the sponsor to contribute to the total project cost.
“The projects supported by the funding programs allow communities and transportation providers to work together to implement projects that will improve mobility and access,” stated Joe Costello, RTA executive director. “Additionally, the comment period provides the public an opportunity to voice their opinions regarding the projects the RTA is recommending.”
Public comments will be taken into consideration when the Programs of Projects are presented to the RTA board of directors for approval on Oct. 20. The RTA board will then consider approving the funding necessary to support the programs as part of the 2012 budget on Dec. 15.
Additionally, the RTA board approved the 2011 Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Implementation Technical Assistance Program of Projects. The RTA is contributing a $50,000 match for the recently awarded $200,000 Unified Work Program planning grant to support 12 projects. The grant will provide developer recruitment, zoning ordinance revisions and parking regulation updates for the villages of Bensenville, Buffalo Grove, Franklin Park, Manhattan, Maywood, Midlothian, Mokena, Mundelein, Villa Park, Wilmette, Westmont and the city of Wood Dale.