CHICAGO — The U.S. federal government has pledged nearly $2 billion to extend the Red Line to Chicago’s Far South Side.
A number of elected officials from multiple levels of government gathered Friday morning to officially announce the funding expectation. If it becomes fully approved, the $1.973 billion will cover half of the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Red Line Extension (RLE) Project.
The RLE would extend the Red Line from 95th Street to 130th Street and include four additional stops: a new terminal at 130th Street and three other stops at 103rd, 111th, and Michigan Avenue. Parking facilities and multimodal connections at each new station, a new railyard and maintenance shop near 120th Street, and the purchase of 78 rail cars will also be incorporated.
Though the federal funding is not yet guaranteed, the RLE Project has advanced into the next phase of the “New Starts” program which is a critical step to securing the funding, according to a press release.
The extension has been discussed for years to include a $38 million environmental study in 2020. The city hasn’t added to the rail system since the Orange Line opened in 1993.
Friday’s event included, among others, Mayor Brandon Johnson, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Federal Transit Authority Administrator Nuria Fernandez, CTA President Dorval Carter, Jr., Congressman Mike Quigley, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, and Ald. Anthony Beale. Several RLE station renderings, an updated area map, and the preliminary timeline for the project were released during the event.
Watch the full press conference in the video below.