Access to Transit Improvement Program
The RTA established the Access to Transit Improvement Program to seek capital funding for small-scale projects that increase pedestrian and bicycle access to the transit system. The Access to Transit Improvement Program is intended to leverage RTA and local funds with federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) funding to help implement recommendations contained in studies completed through the RTA’s Community Planning program or CMAP’S Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. Projects selected as part of the RTA’s Access to Transit Improvement Program will be assisted by RTA staff in developing information required for a CMAP application. Projects will then be bundled into one application submitted to the CMAQ program. As part of the FFY16-20 CMAQ Call for Projects, the RTA was successful in securing $4.2 million for eleven access to transit improvement projects throughout the region. Please see the list of active projects for more information on improvements funded through the program.
Funding for the program is contingent upon RTA-supported projects being accepted into the CMAQ program in 2017 and RTA Board approval of matching funds in future annual budgets. That said, RTA would like assist communities with the CMAQ application process and is looking for communities to partner with despite the funding uncertainty.
Detailed information can be found in the program guide. Eligible applicants must have completed, or be in the process of completing, a plan through either the RTA’s Community Planning program or CMAP’s LTA Program and be located within the RTA’s six-county service area (Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Will). Eligible projects include small-scale capital improvements that demonstrate the ability to increase ridership and improve access to existing transit stations, stops and services. Projects are ready for submission if the planning work is complete and the project can initiate or finish Phase I Engineering (if needed) by the time of application. Applicants must also have buy-in on the project from local staff and elected officials.
Eligible project budgets must not exceed $500,000. The CMAQ program is a federal program that requires a 20% local match. The RTA will fund up to 15% of the project cost (up to $75,000). The match rate is based on the economic and demographic characteristics of the community and will be provided upon request to the applicant.
Upon receipt of the Application, you will receive an email verifying that your submittal has been received.
The Access to Transit Improvement Program funding awards are contingent upon funding being made available through the CMAQ program. As noted in the Program Timeline below, potential applicants must first initiate Phase I Engineering (if necessary). Applicants then submit applications to the RTA. The RTA reviews all requests and then makes a determination of which projects will be bundled and submitted by the RTA as one application to the CMAQ program.
|April 29, 9:30am||Program information session. RTA staff will provide details on the program and applicants will have an opportunity to ask questions. Session will be held in the RTA Board Room located at 175 W Jackson Boulevard, Suite 1660, Chicago, IL 60604.|
|April-October||Potential Applicants prepare applications and initiate (or complete) Phase I Engineering|
|October 20||Applications Due to the RTA by 3:00pm|
|October-December||Application review and selection; all applicants notified|
|January||CMAQ Program Call for Projects Released|
|January-February||RTA staff prepares CMAQ application; selected applicants complete Phase I Engineering|
|February||RTA Submits CMAQ Application on behalf of selected applicants|
|August||CMAQ Program of Projects released for Public Comment|
|October||CMAQ Program of Projects Finalized|
|December||RTA Board considers matching funds as part of 2018 Agency Budget|
|January||CMAP transfers project sponsorship from the RTA to applicants; RTA enters into IGA’s with communities, as necessary|
|February||Access to Transit Improvement Program projects initiated|
Please direct any questions to:
Ms. Heather Tabbert, AICP
Manager, Local Planning and Programs
Regional Transportation Authority