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CTA LEADERS & EXPERTS : 5.6 Mile Red Line Extension on Chicago's South Side

This month, the South Side Builder’s Association (SSBA) invited CTA leaders of the Redline Extension Project to discuss the orientation of railway transportation & impact it would have on the surrounding neighborhoods. Presenters of this seminar included CTA Vice President of the RLE TaNeshaha Marshall and Chief Infrastructure Officer, Bill Mooney. The team was supported by Ammar Elmajdoub, Strategic Planner who oversees the Transit Supportive Development Plan and Misty Brown, Director of Diversity.

"We will design and construct our transit extension from its current terminal at 95th along the Dan Ryan to 130th near Altgeld Gardens, one of the first public housing developments ever built in the US" explained Vice President Marshall.


The Red Line Extension will be a transformational $3.6 billion investment in Chicago and on the Far South Side. This extension spans 5.6-miles and will include four new, fully accessible stations at 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue near 116th and 130th Street. Each station will have multimodal connections which include bus, bike, pedestrian, and park & ride facilities.


The project will require heavy funds for each phase of development. CTA bonds, which are funding the current phase will fund an additional portion in future phases. CTA has also received a $30 million grant from the competitive Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality program – this is a federal grant source that is distributed locally.

Together these sources will support a strong application for the Red Line Extension project, and, according to Mooney, " The time is right in Washington DC to pursue a significant amount of federal funding to make RLE a reality".


The City's DPD and the Cook County Land Bank have partnered to create a long term master plan in hopes to guide future developers named Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning.

"We’ve done the market research and community outreach to come up with a vision and goals that future developers can build on. This really shows the commitment of the City and signals confidence in the area for investors" said Elmajdoub, the director of the TODP.


  1. Create a community vision for redevelopment

  2. Identify potential funding sources and tools for future development

  3. Develop policy recommendations in collaboration with City agencies (Planning and Development, Housing, Transportation, and others)

  4. Support a stronger ask for federal funding for RLE

This plan was thought out scrupulously amongst a team of consultants, the City of Chicago, the Cook County Land Bank, and the community to:

  1. Establish a community vision for development

  2. Promote economic development

  3. Support continued affordability

  4. Encourage private sector investment

  5. Enhance multimodal connectivity and bicycle/pedestrian access

There have been concerns with the development amongst the community with displacing homes, and businesses, however that has been resolved with the construction of elevated tracks from 95th Street to 119th Street, and ground level tracks from 119th Street to 130th Street. TSD Plan community outreach entailed a tremendous number of large and small group listening sessions that identified key priorities within the project area.

According to these sessions, housing and jobs will be a necessity. The city has plans to strategically infill the project area with new workforce housing along the major district corridors and in targeted portions of the neighborhoods.

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