CTA is undertaking the next phases of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) program to rebuild and modernize the century-old northern portion of the Red Line and the Purple Line. Phase One of the RPM program is currently under construction (in the area just north of Belmont station and approximately between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr stations). The RPM Next Phases Planning Study initiates the planning work necessary to complete the improvements along the remaining areas within the 9.6-mile corridor, including the entirety of the 3.3-mile Purple Line Evanston branch. Once fully realized, the RPM program would replace the infrastructure and stations that are significantly beyond their useful life, and it would allow CTA to increase train capacity, add accessibility, and improve customer experience for generations to come.
Much of the elevated structure, embankments, and stations on the corridor were originally built in the early 1900s and require frequent maintenance and often necessitate slow zones. The corridor needs investment to add capacity, reduce travel times, increase access to jobs and destinations, and improve access for people with disabilities. Rebuilding and modernizing stations, tracks, and infrastructure will allow CTA to improve operational efficiency and meet ridership demand for the next 100 years.
As RPM Phase One continues construction, CTA is moving ahead on the multi-year process to initiate the next phase of the RPM program. The RPM Next Phases Planning Study is the first step of the planning process that will set goals and objectives, engage the public, identify potential projects, and evaluate alternatives and phasing.
The RPM Next Phases Planning Study focuses on three segments of the north Red Line and the Purple Line Evanston branch:
- Addison to Sheridan
- Thorndale to Howard
- Evanston Branch (Howard to Linden)
The study is expected to be finalized in 2023. Completing this critical planning phase will allow the CTA to launch the next steps in the process, which includes engineering work, conducting a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review, and identifying funding for implementation.
The Red and Purple Modernization program is a major initiative to rebuild the nearly century-old North Red Line from Belmont to Howard and the Purple Line from Belmont to Linden. You can read about the RPM project, including RPM Phase One, on the RPM website.
The RPM Next Phases project is part of the multi-phase Red Ahead program to maintain and modernize the Red and Purple lines and ensure they remain a vital part of the transportation system in Chicago and the region. As the most traveled line on the rail system, all Red Ahead projects are mutually beneficial; an improvement in one area of the Red Line benefits the entire system.