We are excited to announce that the call for projects for the RTA’s Access to Transit program is now open. The RTA launched the Access to Transit program in 2012 to seek funding for small-scale capital projects that improve access to the regional transit system for pedestrians and bicyclists, including improvements such as sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian signals, bus and rail warming shelters and bike parking at transit stations. A call for projects is held every other year for Access to Transit with the current application period beginning today, April 16th, and closing on Friday, August 31st.
The program leverages RTA and local funds with Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funding to help implement recommendations from planning studies completed through the RTA’s Community Planning program or CMAP’S Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. Through three previous rounds of the program, it has funded projects in 22 communities throughout the region for a total investment of roughly $10 million in Federal, RTA and local funds. Detailed information on these projects is available on the RTA data website, RTAMS.org.
The RTA’s ongoing efforts to support transit-oriented planning at the local level has shown that there is a strong need across our region to provide better access to transit service for all users of the system. The Access to Transit program presents an opportunity for communities to address those needs, with the RTA providing both financial and technical assistance for applicants accepted to the program as an incentive. In addition to promoting transit ridership, building better bike and pedestrian infrastructure provides a number of benefits for local communities:
- Neighborhoods that promote public health through active transportation and safer pedestrian environments
- Reduced vehicle congestion and emissions
- Lower demand for commuter parking
- Support for transit-oriented development by fostering active, walkable streets
The Access to Transit program is open to municipalities and counties that have completed, or are in the process of completing, a planning or implementation project through either the RTA’s Community Planning program or the CMAP’s LTA Program. This includes communities that have participated in corridor studies as a partner, as well as municipalities participating in the RTA’s Interagency Signage program. Applicants must have CTA, Metra or Pace service in their community and be located within the RTA’s six-county service area (Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Will).
For more information on the program and how to apply, please visit the RTA website.