Stage A Construction: Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project learn more

Red–Purple Modernization Program

What's RPM?

We’re undertaking the largest capital improvement project in CTA history: the Red and Purple Modernization Program (RPM). This major initiative will completely rebuild the nearly century-old North Red Line from Belmont to Howard and the Purple Line from Belmont to Linden in Wilmette. As we rebuild, much needed capacity will be added in this growing residential corridor to accommodate current and future riders, and to deliver faster and smoother rides with less crowding and more frequent service.

This massive, multi-stage project is scheduled to be completed in phases, which allows us to make the greatest number of improvements while minimizing impacts on riders and the surrounding communities.

Project schedule

RPM Phase One is now under way.



RPM: Stay informed!

We are excited to begin Phase One of the Red and Purple Modernization program (RPM), the largest capital investment in CTA history that will modernize CTA train service on the Red, Purple and Brown lines. Major construction began in October 2019 with the start of construction of a new Red-Purple Bypass north of the Belmont Red, Purple and Brown Line station.

Construction of this project will affect local neighborhoods as well as CTA riders for years, and we are committed to making sure we give you the information you need about the project and the construction as we move forward with Phase One.

Communication is a two-way street, and we want to hear from you. Your questions and comments matter to us. Here are the ways you can get information and stay informed.

  • Sign up for project e-blasts here. You can also email us at, including information about upcoming public meetings about the project.
  • Visit our project web site at for project information, including what’s new with RPM and updated information about upcoming utility relocation work via our construction activity notices.
  • Call CTA customer service at (888) YOUR-CTA for general questions.

During the construction period, you will continue to hear from us via construction notices, project updates, surveys and other channels. Thank you for your patience!

What Others Are Saying

"Adding capacity is a particularly powerful argument in favor of the flyover; the Red Line is the backbone of the city’s public transportation system. Over the last four years, rush-hour ridership in the corridor north of Belmont has jumped 40 percent, the CTA says. If you’ve ever ridden during rush hour, you understand the plight of a packed sardine … we urge the CTA to move forward with these ambitious plans, though not without doing everything possible to make affected homeowners and businesses whole."
Chicago Sun-Times

“It is common for morning rush-hour passengers at Belmont and Fullerton stations to have to wait until the second or third train to find a place to stand. Such delays, in addition to routine system delays and service disruptions experienced by this corridor, only serve to dissuade ridership.”
DePaul University, Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development

“The stretch of track where those lines converge is over 100 years old and plagued by delays. This rebuild will allow this stretch of track to meet future capacity needs for decades to come, result in less wait time at stations, and improve the overall reliability … [and] move people to and from work when they need to and encourage more people to take advantage of transit.”
Illinois Chamber of Commerce

“Improvements in service at the Red Line stations will allow more people to take advantage of mass transit, resulting in more customers in the surrounding business districts. Increase in property values and potential new transit oriented development will bring more economic activity to the Edgewater neighborhood.”
Edgewater Chamber of Commerce (.pdf)

“The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is a strong advocate for investing in our existing infrastructure even as we plan for our region’s future needs. In addition, MPC supports the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s objective of doubling transit ridership in the Chicago region by 2040. The Red and Purple Modernization will play an essential role in helping to achieve both of those objectives, by offering upgrades to a decades-old but well-used line that has the potential to attract tens of thousands of new daily riders.”
Metropolitan Planning Council

“Capacity on the Red, Brown and Purple lines on the North Side is one of the biggest challenges the CTA faces over the next several years, and the agency is beginning to take steps to address it … Without more investment, crowding on North Side trains is only going to get worse and some people may choose to drive if they begin to view it as more convenient.”
Active Transportation Alliance

“Uptown relies heavily on the North Red Line and we strongly believe its modernization will directly benefit our community.”
Uptown United (.pdf)



  • Active Transportation Alliance 
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
  • Edgewater Development Corporation
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce
  • Metropolitan Planning Council
  • Environmental Law and Policy Center
  • Uptown United
  • World Business Chicago

Stay Informed!

If you would like to be added to the RPM contact list for meeting notices and future updates about the RPM Program, please click here or email us at