This year marks the 20th anniversary of the RTA’s Community Planning program. It’s through this program that we help communities around Northeastern Illinois transform underutilized areas around transit assets such as train stations and bus stops into bustling downtowns and neighborhoods that feel more urban, lively and pedestrian friendly. Whether it’s turning old manufacturing factories into retail shops or bringing housing and jobs to vacated parcels, the RTA provides funds and technical assistance to create plans of change as well as support to implement those plans.
The work of the RTA’s Community Planning program encourages regional municipalities to develop walkable and more sustainable communities near transit stations and along transit corridors. We have been on the national forefront of transit agencies providing this type of planning assistance, and locally the program continues to be an important tool in the region for transit oriented development.
Throughout the history of the program the RTA has invested over $20 million in nearly 200 projects by partnering with the transit service providers, six county governments, and several councils of mayors and roughly half of all local governments that have transit service in the Northeastern Illinois region.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary, we’ll be highlighting 20 Community Planning projects that have made a big difference for villages and cities around our region. Stay tuned and get ready to celebrate!