CTA’s $3.6 Billion Red Line Extension Project Included in Biden-Harris Administration Recommendation to Congress for Federal Funding Support in 2025 Budget Request

March 13, 2024

U.S. Transportation Secretary Recommends $350 Million to CTA’s Red Line Extension project in President Biden’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Budget 

This week, the Biden-Harris Administration announced 14 large transit projects in 11 states could receive nearly $4 billion in federal support for construction as part of President Biden’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Budget Request to Congress. The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA)  $3.6 billion Red Line Extension (RLE) project has been recommended to receive $350 million in 2025. 

The CTA’s RLE project, which will extend the Red Line 5.6 miles to the Far South Side of Chicago, is one of three projects in the nation that is being proposed in the 2025 federal grant pipeline, which were recommended in prior budgets but have not yet entered into a construction grant agreement.

“The CTA greatly appreciates the support from our federal partners who continuously push for the largest project in agency history to get off the ground,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Today, we are one step closer to groundbreaking in 2025 and we thank U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for including this equity project in the budget recommendation heading to Congress, as well as the Illinois delegation for their continued support of this vital project. The RLE project will transform the Far South Side of Chicago, a promise and commitment we have dedicated to the community for decades. We look forward to continuing our critical work with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in the coming years.”

The CTA was notified last year that it was in line for $1.973 billion in critical grant funding needed to build the project. CTA then began the “Engineering” phase of the project, which includes further design and engineering needed to build the project and identifies the federal grant dollars CTA can receive for the project once the engineering phase is completed and approved by FTA. The Engineering phase of the project is expected to continue this year, and CTA anticipates a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) by the end of 2024 subject to federal review and approvals.

All funding sources for the $3.6 billion RLE project have been identified and include:

  • $1.973 billion: Federal “New Starts” – this includes the $350 million recommended in the FY 2025 budget request
  • $950 million: Local Transit TIF
  • $130 million: Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ)/Carbon Reduction Program
  • $365 million: State funding (anticipated)
  • Remaining funding (~$182 million): CTA bond funds and other sources

Red Line Extension Project Overview

The transformational RLE project is a community-input driven investment in Chicago’s Far South Side that will:

  • Build a 5.6-mile extension of the Red Line starting at 95th Street Terminal to the vicinity of 130th Street.
  • Include four new accessible stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street, each of which would include bus, bike, pedestrian and parking facilities.
  • Build a new rail yard and related rail facilities to improve operational efficiency for the entire Red Line and CTA system.
  • Provide long-awaited and much needed connection to jobs, education, and commerce, while also serving as a catalyst for economic development.

The RLE Project will provide a new, more direct connection to downtown via the Red Line – this means an easier trip and less time commuting. Once the extension opens, it is expected to provide up to 30 minutes in time savings to riders traveling to downtown from the future 130th station.

Other project benefits for surrounding communities include:

  • An award-winning RLE Transit-Supportive Development (TSD) Plan in partnership with Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD). The Plan is a proactive effort to guide the future development of the long-disinvested communities located near the RLE project area, and it reflects the vision of those who currently reside and conduct business in these communities.
  • Creation of more than 25,000 jobs to Cook County in future years.
  • Opportunities for workforce training and jobs and participation in the project by small Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-certified small businesses. CTA supports DBEs through efforts including the Building Small Business program and partnerships with its construction contractors.

Preliminary project renderings can be found here. For more information about the Red Line Extension Project, visit transitchicago.com/rle.

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