The Federal Transit Administration
(FTA) is awarding the Chicago Transit Authority
(CTA) a $35 million grant to help lay the groundwork to improve service and capacity on a heavily traveled segment of its aging North Red Line and Purple Line rail transit system.
The CTA is the first U.S. transit agency selected for funding through the FTA’s new Core Capacity Grant Program, which is designed to help rail transit providers increase the volume of passengers or trains without expanding the footprint of the system.
The FTA’s $35 million Core Capacity grant supports $43.7 million to plan the initial phase of the CTA’s comprehensive 9.6-mile, $4.7 billion Red-Purple Line Modernization Project.
The initial work will pave the way for constructing a track bypass immediately north of the CTA Belmont Station to reduce bottlenecks with the Brown Line; expanding and modernizing four rail stations between Leland and Ardmore Avenues, to make them ADA-compliant for the first time; upgrading rail corridor signals; and making other track and related infrastructure improvements.
The future enhancements are expected to result in faster, smoother service and increase passenger capacity by about 30%. Approximately 110,000 daily riders on this segment of the Red and Purple lines are expected to benefit from these investments, according to CTA.