Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) board of directors approved nearly $16 million for six projects that will make commuting easier and more efficient for transit riders.
The projects, funded through the use of a two-year RTA Innovation Coordination and Enhancement (ICE) program budget of $15.92 million, will be implemented by the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace to advance the vision and goals of the RTA’s regional priorities initiative of Enhancing the Customer Experience.
“The key objective of the ICE program is to provide a seamless and reliable commuting experience,” said Leanne Redden, sr. deputy executive director, planning. “These are high impact projects that can be quickly implemented and provide our customers with a more convenience trip on transit.”
The following ICE projects were approved:
- Real Time Next-Bus Signs for shelters and key transit centers in Pace’s service area.
- Advanced Paging System at all 145 CTA train stations.
- CTA Customer Information Displays system-wide.
- Blue Island/Vermont Street interagency transfer signage improvements.
- Pilot/Demo Projects to Test New Regional Fare Solution Technologies for Metra.
- Regional transit fare system program management and systems integration for Metra.
Most projects are slated to be implemented beginning late 2012 to early 2013.
The ICE program, established as part of the 2008 amendments to the RTA Act, provides operating and/or capital funding for projects that provide cost-effective ways to enhance the coordination and integration of public transportation, and develop and implement innovations to improve the quality and delivery of public transportation.
The RTA previously approved funding for customer enhancements now in use including the CTA’s real time arrival signs on bus shelters that debuted last year and Metra’s Rail Time Tracker announced in June that provides riders with up-to-the-minute train schedule information through Metra's website and mobile devices.