Through extensive planning for the Red Line Extension (RLE) Project, CTA has determined that it may be necessary to acquire certain properties to implement the project. Based on additional project planning and engineering work conducted over the last year, CTA has selected a Preferred Alignment and conducted outreach to property owners that would be displaced because of the project.
At this time, CTA does not plan to pursue acquisition of private property for the RLE Project until the environmental review is complete and project funding is secured. This is expected to be a multiyear process, and it may also be possible to further minimize property impacts with additional future engineering. Property owners and tenants who would be affected by acquisition and relocation will be protected under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended (known simply as the “Uniform Act”), along with state regulations. CTA will treat property owners and tenants fairly and will seek cooperative settlements of property acquisitions. In addition, CTA will provide financial assistance and relocation services for property owners as well as commercial and residential occupants who must move because of the RLE Project.
You can read more about your rights as a property owner under applicable federal laws here:
Additional information about potentially displaced properties is available here.
FTA’s brochure on property acquisition and relocation assistance is available here.
Contact CTA’s customer service department by telephone at 1-888-YOUR-CTA (1-888-968-7282), or by e-mail at RedExtension@transitchicago.com if you have questions about potential displacement of your property.
Frequently asked questions about property displacements
Which alignment option did CTA select?
Based on additional project planning and engineering work conducted over the last year, CTA has selected a Preferred Alignment. The Preferred Alignment is a combination of the previously presented Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) East and West Options. This Preferred Alignment would capture the benefits and minimize the impacts of either Option and incorporates the public and agency feedback received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Preferred Alignment would have fewer impacts than either the East or West Options. It would affect fewer residences than the East Option, and fewer businesses and jobs than the West Option. Noise and vibration impacts would not be greater than those anticipated under either the East or West Option.
How would I know if my property is affected?
The owners and tenants whose property would be affected by the Preferred Alignment were notified during the CTA door-to-door outreach, which started January 26, 2018. Letters informing owners and tenants of the selected alignment were also mailed out to all properties that were contacted in 2016—both those whose property would be affected by the Preferred Alignment, and those whose property would not be affected. CTA encourages community participation and property owner involvement. CTA will be conducting community meetings with property owners and tenants affected by the Preferred Alignment on Tuesday, February 6 from 5:30-7:30 at Fenger Academy High School (11220 S. Wallace Avenue, Chicago), and on Thursday, February 8 from 5:30-7:30 at Palmer Park (201 E. 111th Street, Chicago). Additionally, a public open house is scheduled for Tuesday, February 13, 2018 from 6-8pm at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in the Main Gym (250 W. 111th Street, Chicago).
What are my rights as a property owner?
In the event that CTA ultimately determines it is necessary to purchase private property for the RLE Project, CTA would be required to follow the guidelines of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, along with state regulations. CTA will treat property owners fairly and will seek cooperative settlements of property acquisitions.
You can read more about your rights under applicable federal laws here:
What type of compensation will I receive?
CTA is required by federal law to offer to purchase each property for an amount that is no less than fair market value as determined by an independent appraisal. In some circumstances, if current appraisals are less than the original property purchase price, an owner may be eligible for compensation equal to the original purchase price.
In addition, CTA must provide financial assistance and relocation services, as required by federal regulations for property owners as well as commercial and residential occupants who must move because of the RLE Project.
How will CTA determine the purchase price for my property?
If CTA determines it is necessary to purchase your property for the RLE Project, it is required to hire an independent appraiser to inspect the property to determine fair market value. In that case, you, or a representative that you designate, will be invited to accompany the appraiser when the appraiser inspects your property. You or your representative may provide information about improvements to the property and any special features that may affect the value of the property such that these facts are considered in the appraisal.
What if I don’t own this property but rent an apartment, or lease space for my business?
Non-owners who are leasing housing or commercial property that must be relocated because of the RLE Project are also protected by the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended. If needed, CTA will provide financial assistance and relocation services to assist these residents and business owners in finding a new housing or business location.
If CTA acquires my property, will you provide me help in relocating?
If you are required to move, a relocation agent will contact you, answer your questions, and provide additional information about relocation assistance advisory services and relocation payments eligibility. The goal of the relocation agent is to facilitate a smooth transition to the replacement housing or business location.
What will happen next with the RLE Project?
On November 27, 2016, Mayor Emanuel and CTA announced approval of $75 million in funding over the next five years for the RLE Project. This investment will allow CTA to complete the Final EIS and preliminary engineering over the next few years. CTA plans to apply to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for entry into the Project Development Phase to pursue federal funding for construction of this project under the competitive federal “New Starts” program. Project development and securing full funding for the RLE Project under this program is a multiyear, multistep process. Depending on funding availability and federal approvals, the earliest that the RLE Project is expected to begin construction would be in 2022, with service anticipated to start in 2026. Again, CTA does not plan to pursue acquisition of private property for the RLE Project until the environmental review is complete and project funding is secured.
If I have additional questions about potential property acquisitions, who should I call?
Contact CTA’s customer service department by telephone at 1-888-YOUR-CTA (1-888-968-7282), or by e-mail at RedExtension@transitchicago.com.
How can I learn more about the RLE Project?
You can learn more about the RLE Project and find updates on the status of the process on our webpage: www.transitchicago.com/RedEIS. To join the project contact list and get updates about the RLE Project, public meetings, and the status of environmental reviews, email RedExtension@transitchicago.com.