Community Planning

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The RTA Community Planning program offers technical assistance and funding to local governments and intergovernmental organizations to address local planning needs that intersect public transportation and land use. Through this assistance the RTA encourages municipalities in the region to develop walkable and more sustainable communities near transit stations and along transit corridors. See details of more than 200 projects since 1998 (or search projects), and read the most recent Community Planning implementation report.

The RTA has released its proposed 2020 Community Planning Program of Projects for public review and a comment period. The table below lists the applicant, project type and description of each proposed project. Comments on the proposed program may be submitted by February 8, 2020, to the RTA by sending an email to

For more information on a project, click on the applicant name in the chart below to view the project application.


Project Type

Project Description

Calumet Park

Calumet Park TOD Developer Discussion Panel

The Village requests a Developer Discussion Panel be convened to assist its efforts to attract transit- oriented development (TOD) at a vacant ~6-acre site located directly adjacent to the Metra Electric Ashland Avenue station. The Village would like to benefit from developer expertise on how to attract and consider development proposals that optimize the neighboring transit asset and align with local and regional goals.

Chicago Department of Planning and Development

High Priority Commercial Corridors Plan

The City requests support and assistance from the RTA and CMAP with a city-led initiative to provide transformative changes along neglected commercial corridors within select south and west community areas. Work along the high-priority corridors would include identifying ways for focusing resources and priorities to the benefit of the communities.

Chicago Transit Authority

North Branch Area Bus Network Enhancements Plan

The CTA is seeking funding to develop a framework for bus enhancements that identifies key routes for improvements and concepts to make bus service a more attractive travel option in the North Branch area of Chicago. The plan would be developed in coordination with other transportation analyses in the corridor and include a study of a new transitway connecting the area to downtown. The combined analyses would provide guidance for the City and developers and would facilitate implementation for a program of transportation improvements that can accommodate the expected growth in the area.

Chicago Ward 45

Milwaukee Ave. Corridor Plan

This project will assist the 45th Ward with a Developer Discussion Panel to gather guidance and advice from development experts. The objective is to attract development to vacant sites and encourage infill development. The Developer Discussion Panel will help the Ward Alderman and the City determine goals and needs in order to best utilize vacant land along North Milwaukee Avenue near the Jefferson Park Transportation Center.

DuPage County Department of Transportation

DuPage County Mobility Plan

DuPage County is seeking to develop its first county-wide mobility plan. The plan would be multi-modal in nature, analyze current gaps in the transportation network, respond to the changing transportation market and address the needs of employers in the County to attract quality labor at all employment levels.


Elburn TOD Plan

The Village is seeking assistance to develop a TOD plan for the areas near the Elburn Metra station and downtown Elburn. Plan objectives include identifying ways to unify the downtown business district with TOD development south of the station into a connected and vibrant area that serves the entire town, is an area shopping and dining destination, and incorporates the Metra station as a focal point.

Hanover Park

Hanover Park TOD Zoning Code Update

Hanover Park requests assistance to update the zoning code for it’s Village Center TOD area in an effort to enable the type of development envisioned in its TOD Plan. Zoning revisions would address parking requirements, number of dwelling units per acre, allowable land uses and the development review process.


Harvey TOD Plan Update

The City is requesting an update to its TOD Plan that was completed in 2005 for areas surrounding the Harvey Transportation Center, including the Metra station, the adjacent civic campus and points west to connect to residential areas and the University of Chicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Hospital. The plan would address population loss, leverage improvements underway at the Transportation Center and provide new insights to high-density, transit-supportive, quality infill development.

University Park

University Park TOD Plan Update

The Village is requesting an update to its TOD plan that was completed in 2002 for the University Park Metra station. The study would include an analysis of surrounding land uses and zoning codes, local road safety improvements and a last mile mobility strategy.

The RTA is on the national forefront of transit agencies providing this type of planning assistance.

Locally, the program continues to be an important tool in the region for transit-oriented development. Throughout the 21-year history of the program, the RTA has invested over $21 million in over 200 projects by partnering with:

  • CTA, Metra, and Pace
  • The six county governments
  • Several councils of mayors
  • Roughly half of all local governments that have transit service in the NE Illinois region

Eligible projects include:

Transit-oriented development (TOD) plans

Transit corridor plans

TOD developer discussion panels

TOD zoning code updates

Plans to develop special funding districts in transit areas

Transit neighborhood mobility improvement plans

Other innovative approaches to transit implementation



Who may apply: Municipalities, counties, townships, councils of government / municipal associations, groups of two or more municipalities, and the RTA Service Boards (Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace) located within the RTA's six-county service region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties) are eligible to apply to the Community Planning program. Non-governmental organizations must partner with a governmental organization to submit the application.

For assistance with planning projects beyond the above listed categories, please consider the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s Local Technical Assistance Program.


Application Timeline

September 17, 2019

Call for Projects opened

October 18, 2019

Application due date

November 2019

Application review and applicant interviews

January 2020

Public Comment period for tentative project selections

February 2020

Program of projects presented to RTA Board of Directors and Applicants notified of decision

Spring 2020

New project development begins