$2 Billion Federal Grant for Red Line Extension Project to Chicago’s South Side

A plan to extend the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line 5.6 miles to the south won a $2 billion grant from the federal government.

2 minute read

September 12, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A plan to extend the CTA Red Line from its current terminus at 95th Street in Chicago all the way to 130th Street got a key piece of the funding puzzle recently, when the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved $1.973 billion in grant funding through the New Starts program.

An article by Sarah Schulte provides more details on the project, and includes soundbites from a press conference by public officials, including Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, to announce the grant win. The officials touted the grant funding as a win for transit equity in the famously transit-oriented city.

“You know I love the West Side of Chicago, but it is well past time that the South and far South Side of Chicago gets its fair share of access to the economic vitality that the City of Chicago provides," said Mayor Johnson at the press conference. According to Mayor Johnson, the Red Line extension will provide transit access to 100,000 new riders on the South Side.

Planetizen first picked up news of the project when initial plans were released in January 2018. Most recently, Planetizen reported on the project when the City Council approved tax increment financing (TIF) to help fund the project. TIF funding is expected to provide $950 million of the total price tag of $3.6 billion for the project.

“The other half of the funding for the project will come from local funds, bonds, the CTA and other sources,” reports Schulte. “The project is about $300 million short of being fully funded, but 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, who has been pushing for the extension for more than 20 years, is confident the shortage will not halt the project.”

The Red Line Extension would be the first expansion of the CTA rail system since 1993.

Saturday, September 9, 2023 in ABC 7 Chicago

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