CTA’s Red Line Extension project in line for $1.97 billion FTA grant

Sept. 11, 2023
The grant would be the largest transit infrastructure grant awarded to CTA in the agency’s history.

The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Red Line Extension (RLE) project on the far south side of Chicago from 95th to 130th St. is in line for $1.97 billion in critical grant funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The grant would be the largest transit infrastructure grant awarded to CTA in the agency’s history.

"Reversing decades of disinvestment starts with providing accessible transportation for all residents of this city," said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Today’s announcement serves as an important milestone for this project, as we move to enhance capillary connections to create a more connected and accessible Chicago. We will continue to work with stakeholders, the state and federal government to ensure this project is moving full steam ahead.” 

The FTA notified CTA that the $3.6 billion RLE Project, which will extend the Red Line 5.6 miles to Chicago’s far south side, has advanced into the next phase of the federal New Starts program – an important step to moving the project closer to groundbreaking. CTA can now begin the Engineering phase of the project, which includes further design and engineering needed to build the project and identifies the federal grant dollars CTA can receive for the project once the engineering phase is completed and approved by FTA.

 “Today is a great day for the south side of Chicago,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “The far south side has been promised for 50 years that the Red Line would be extended to the city’s southern border and, today, we can say that promise is significantly closer to being met. This project brings a wealth of job and training opportunities and it enhances the quality of life for residents who will be able to access jobs and education more easily than ever before.”

The Engineering phase of the project is expected to continue into 2024 and anticipates a funding award by the end of 2024 subject to federal review and approvals. The remaining project funding will come from a $950 million Transit Tax Increment Financing (TIF) approved by the Chicago City Council in 2022 and other sources.

RLE project overview

The RLE project will:

  • Build a 5.6-mile extension of the Red Line starting at 95th St. Terminal to the vicinity of 130th St.
  • Include four new accessible stations near 103rd St., 111th St., Michigan Avenue and 130th St., each of which would include bus, bike, pedestrian and parking facilities.
  • Build a new rail yard and related rail facilities to improve operational efficiency for the entire Red Line and CTA system.

The RLE Project will provide a new, more direct connection to the Red Line – meaning an easier trip and less time commuting. Once the extension opens, it is expected to provide up to 30 minutes in time savings to riders traveling from the future 130th Station.

Project benefits for surrounding communities:

  • An award-winning RLE Transit-Supportive Development Plan in partnership with Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development. The plan is a proactive effort to guide the future development of the long-disinvested communities located near the RLE project area and it reflects the vision of those who currently reside and conduct business in these communities.
  • It is expected to bring more than 25,000 jobs to Cook County in future years.
  • Includes opportunities for workforce training and jobs and participation in the project by small Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-certified small businesses.
  • CTA supports DBEs through efforts, including the Building Small Business program and partnerships with its construction contractors.