News & Updates

Links to the latest reports, news releases, enewsletters, blog posts, and other communications from the RTA can be found on this page. For questions or media inquiries contact Tina Fassett Smith, Director of Communications (Tina.Smith@RTAChicago.org 312-913-3256) or Melissa Meyer, Communications Specialist (MeyerM@RTAChicago.org or 312-913-3121).

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September 2021

Read the Regional Transit Update from September 2 and September 17.

August 2021

Read the Regional Transit Update from August 20.

RTA kicks off next Regional Transit Strategic Plan 
At its August meeting, the RTA Board of Directors kicked off the next regional transit strategic plan with a workshop to discuss key themes for the successor to Invest in Transit. Collaborative development of a new strategic direction for the region’s transit system will occur over three phases and include a Strategic Planning track, a Financial Planning track, and a Communications and Engagement track, leading to adoption of the plan in early 2023.

July 2021

Read the Regional Transit Update from July 1 and July 16 and July 28.

RTA leadership making the case for public transit
Following several news articles about increasing congestion, higher rideshare costs, and other transportation issues, RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard and Executive Director Leanne Redden published several pieces that make the case that transit is an irreplaceable part of the Chicago region's mobility future. 

Comment on Section 5310 Program of Projects
Following a call for projects, 12 projects totaling $10.8 million in federal funding are proposed for the FY2020-2021 Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program. Comment on these projects may be submitted from July 1 through July 31. The RTA Board will vote to approve the Program of Projects in August.


June 2021

Read the Regional Transit Update from June 9 and June 18

Public comment on performance-based Capital Allocation Structure 
Continuing work on its Framework for Capital Investments from 2020, the RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace collaborated on a new performance-based Capital Allocation Structure -- a transparent, equitable, and data-driven process for allocating funds that is informed by long-range planning, policy priorities, and performance metrics. After being presented to the RTA Board of Directors in June, the RTA is accepted public comment through July 1.

New signage, system map help riders navigate return to transit
As riders return to CTA, Metra, and Pace following the pandemic, they can make use of more than 1,000 new signs at 19 transfer points and an updated map to help navigate the region’s transit system. The RTA's interagency signage program has continued work throughout the pandemic to make using the transit network seamless.

  • Read more about how the RTA is working to improve system connections in a blog post.
  • Download an updated system map with full routes for all three transit operators, accessibility information, ticket prices, and points of interest.
  • Read a report on recent achievements of the RTA Interagency Signage program.
  • Explore an interactive map of where signage has been installed around the region.

May 2021

Read the RTA COVID Update Newsletter from May 12 and May 26.

Transit agencies launch campaign asking riders to wear masks, ride responsibly
The RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace launched a joint advertising campaign encouraging the public to continue masking on public transit. Although the CDC has recently relaxed guidance for masking for vaccinated individuals, masks are still required on public transportation through September 2021.

  • Read a blog post about the campaign
  • Explore the assets in a toolkit and help share the campaign

RTA mobility pilots explore solutions to first-mile, last-mile commute challenges
The RTA is committed to helping transit Stay Competitive, which is one of the goals of the agency’s 2018-2023 regional transit strategic plan, Invest in Transit. A recently published report examined two mobility pilots the RTA funded in the Chicago region to explore new partnerships and technology to solve first-mile and last-mile solutions. 

  • Read a report with lessons learned from pilots recently completed in Oak Brook and Bannockburn
  • Read a blog post about how an RTA-supported pilot encouraged one rider to take transit rather than drive
  • Explore the RTA-funded mobility pilot projects on an interactive story map.

April 2021

Read the RTA COVID Update Newsletter from April 16 and April 28.

COVID-19 Lapsed Rider Survey finds majority of riders plan to return to transit
The RTA released results of the first survey of its kind since the beginning of the pandemic finding that while 80 percent of "lapsed" riders intend to resume using transit, telecommuting may not return to pre-pandemic levels 

Section 5310 Call for Projects
The RTA accepted applications for funding from March 22 through April 22 for $10.9 million in Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities grants aimed to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities by removing barriers to transportation service and expanding transportation mobility options.

  • Read a blog post about how Section 5310 funding is helping improve mobility options for all.
  • Visit the Section 5310 webpage to see applications received and the timeline for project selection.
  • Explore an interactive map of previous projects funded by Section 5310.

New Community Planning projects selected
Aside from its impacts on transit, the COVID-19 pandemic has strained the capacity of local governments like never before. Following a joint Call for Projects with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning earlier in 2021, the RTA six projects that will provide a special focus on high need and very high need communities, supporting their efforts to implement plans for the future. 


March 2021

Read the RTA COVID Update Newsletter from March 3March 19, and March 31.

RTA Board approves federal relief funding to sustain critical transit for 2021
Following a public comment period, the RTA Board voted to allocate Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) funds according to analysis done to determine transit Critical Need Areas (CNAs) most in need of funding during the pandemic.

  • Read a staff memo describing the allocations and the Sustaining Critical Transit in 2021 report, which includes an appendix of public comments received from February 18 to March 5.
  • Watch a YouTube video of the Board's March 18 meeting.
  • Explore an interactive map that offers insights into how CNAs were being identified.
  • Visit the Recovery webpage for more about the RTA's strategy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

RTA updates Human Services Transportation Plan
Required by the Federal Transit Administration, the RTA maintains an updated Human Services Transportation Plan (HSTP) that  identifies the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities, seniors and people with low incomes; provides strategies for meeting those local needs; and prioritizes transportation services and projects for funding and implementation. In March,the RTA Board approved an updated that sets nine goals for meeting those riders prioritized needs.

  • Read the HSTP Update.
  • Watch a webinar the RTA hosted with the Metropolitan Planning Council and the McHenry County Division of Transportation on improving transportation access and equity in the Chicago region.
  • Read a blog post recapping the webinar and find resources sharing during the event.

February 2021

Read the RTA COVID Update Newsletter from February 10 and February 19.


January 2021

Read the RTA COVID Update Newsletter from January 13 and January 27.

RTA launches redesigned RTAMS site to provides user-friendly access to transit data 
The agency released a new version of the Regional Transportation Authority Mapping and Statistics (RTAMS) website for users to explore, search, and study data from the Chicago region’s transit network. 

  • Explore the data and reports on RTAMS.
  • Read a blog post about the features of the new site
  • Subscribe to receive the RTAMS newsletter and other news from the RTA.