Red Line Extension

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires evaluation of potential environmental impacts associated with federal projects and actions. In accordance with the NEPA process, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in 2016 that evaluated the environmental impacts of constructing and operating the proposed project. Two Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Alternative options were evaluated as part of the Draft EIS. Based on public feedback on the Draft EIS as well as additional project planning and engineering work conducted, the CTA selected a Preferred Alignment in 2018, a combination that captures the benefits and minimizes the impacts of either option.

Under NEPA, a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) must be prepared to evaluate the potential impacts of any proposed project changes that have occurred since the 2016 publication of the Draft EIS In 2020, a Supplemental EA was determined to be required for the RLE Project as a result of evaluating a possible change in location of the 130th Street station from the north side to the south side of 130th Street. In addition, the Supplemental EA will include an assessment of the Preferred Alignment and the Union Pacific Railroad crossing at approximately 108th Place, which was announced in 2018, as well as recent refinements to the alignment near the proposed 120th Street rail yard and rail repair shop facility. The Supplemental EA and Final EIS documents will be made available here as they are developed. 

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The Draft EIS was available for public review and comment from October 6 to November 30, 2016. The Draft EIS includes an evaluation of the No Build Alternative and two UPRR Alternative options: the East Option and the West Option. The Draft EIS describes the alternatives, the existing environmental setting, the potential impacts from construction and operation of the alternatives, and proposed mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate potential impacts.

The purpose of the EIS is to study, in a public setting, the effects of the proposed project and its alternatives on the quality of the physical, human and natural environment. The evaluation provides details on the extent to which the proposed project affects these areas. Measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate potential adverse impacts are also identified.

Public comments

CTA accepted comments on the Draft EIS from October 6 to November 30, 2016. CTA received 284 comments during this comment period, which helped to inform selection of a Preferred Alignment for the project. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and CTA will review the comments received during the public comment period and will address all comments in the Final EIS.

While the public comment period for the Draft EIS is now complete, you can continue to submit comments on the project via email or U.S. mail at any time.

Public hearing

CTA hosted a public hearing on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at St. John Missionary Baptist Church to provide information about the Draft EIS and solicit comments from the public. The location of the public hearing was ADA-compliant and accessible by public transit.

This meeting was conducted in an open house format. The public was invited to provide comments on the Draft EIS either verbally to a court reporter or in writing during the public hearing.

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Get involved and stay informed

You can request to be added to the RLE contact list by clicking here or sending an email to Those added to this contact list will receive upcoming meeting notices, as well as future updates about the RLE Project.

Updates on the RLE Project will also be posted to the project Facebook page:

If you have any questions related to the CTA’s proposed RLE Project, please click here or contact us via email or U.S. mail at:

Chicago Transit Authority
Strategic Planning & Policy, 10th Floor
Attn: Red Line Extension Project
567 W. Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60661-1465