April 14, 2004

Today the Chicago Transit Board approved a $2.4 million contract to perform an alternatives analysis study for the proposed Circle Line Project. The alternatives analysis study is the first planning step in the Federal Transportation Administration's New Start process for the purpose of pursuing federal funding for the project. The study will examine all of the transit options available and a locally preferred alternative will be determined.

The proposed Circle Line would leverage the CTA's ongoing investment in its rail infrastructure by connecting nearly all of the city's major employment and special event destinations with CTA and Metra rail lines. This would make rail service more attractive to all transit customers and help to reduce travel times.

?CTA's current infrastructure provides a solid foundation for expanding regional public transit. It is the core system with the most potential for cost-effectively connecting to other public transit lines," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?The Circle Line would significantly reduce travel times between many CTA rail stations, and between Metra trains and Chicago destinations beyond the existing downtown Metra terminals."

?The proposed Circle Line is a way to link all of Chicago's CTA rail lines, and all of the Metra lines, with only 6.6 miles of new or rebuilt 'L' and subway tracks," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Building upon the existing rail lines is the wisest use of limited resources. The Circle Line's improved connections for CTA and Metra customers will create convenient transit links throughout the six-county region and help to further ease traffic congestion and improve travel times."

The CTA is providing the funding for the $2.4 million contract which was awarded to the architectural and engineering services firm of DMJM + Harris/CTE, A Joint Venture. The alternatives analysis study will be conducted over the next 12 months.

DMJM+Harris specializes in transit/rail, highway and bridge, marine, aviation and energy infrastructures. Consoer Townsend Envirodyne (CTE) Engineers, Inc. specializes in planning, design and construction services, and has been responsible for the overall management of capital programs and transit system extensions for agencies nationwide.

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