The Chicago Transit Authority is taking the next major step in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s transformational Red and Purple Modernization Program (RPM) by seeking the most qualified firms in the industry to design and build the first phase of the project, which will significantly modernize, improve and increase rail service in Chicago for decades to come.
The first phase of RPM will rebuild four of the oldest Red Line stations and track structure and construct a rail bypass to unclog a 100-year-old junction where Red, Purple and Brown Line trains currently intersect — allowing CTA to significantly increase the number of trains it can run along the Red Line to reduce overcrowding and meet growing demand for transit service.
“In Chicago, the strategic and extensive investments we are making in our city’s infrastructure are investments in our residents, our neighborhoods and in our economic future,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As the CTA ‘L’ turns 125 years old this week, we’re always looking to the future by modernizing to create a world-class transit system that will better serve Chicagoans today and for decades to come.”
As part of a two-step procurement process, the CTA announced it will issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select a pool of the most qualified contracting teams that can demonstrate the ability to design and build RPM Phase One.
“Today we move closer to providing Chicagoans an improved commute on the Red Line, our busiest line, by beginning the process of seeking qualified firms to build this important project,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “By securing earlier this year a historic funding agreement for the first phase of our plan to rebuild the Red and Purple Lines, we are now able to take the next step in what is one of the biggest modernization projects in CTA history and follow through with the promise we made to our customers to improve train service and increase station accessibility.”
The entire RPM plan, to be completed in multiple phases, will rebuild part of CTA’s Red and Purple lines, sections of which are more than a century old. The tracks, structures and stations are well past their useful lifespan, and can no longer handle additional trains to meet the increasing demands of growing ridership – which is up 40 percent during the rush hours since 2008.
The RPM project is among more than $8 billion of transit investment announced, under way or completed by Mayor Emanuel since 2011, including the mayor’s “Red Ahead” program, a series of projects to improve the Red Line.
Once a pool of candidates is finalized, expected later this year, CTA will then invite the potential bidders to submit proposals on how they propose designing and building RPM Phase One when the agency issues its Request for Proposals (RFP) in 2018. The proposals will be considered on a variety of criteria, including experience, price and other factors.
The first phase of RPM is expected to create 5,700 construction jobs. CTA will host numerous outreach events to encourage participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-certified firms and other minority owned firms that wish to participate in the project. Additionally, the project RFP will include a community-based workforce development component.