Northeastern Illinois RTA announces more than $120,000 for community-focused transit station projects

The Northeast Illinois Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has allocated more than $120,000 for eight projects to improve public safety and encourage community engagement near CTA, Metra and Pace stations.

Northeastern Illinois RTA announces more than $120,000 for community-focused transit station projectsNortheastern Illinois RTA announces more than $120,000 for community-focused transit station projects

Credit: Northeastern Illinois Regional Transportation Authority

The Northeastern Illinois Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has announced more than $120,000 in funding for eight transit station activation projects aimed at improving public safety and fostering community near Illinois Transportation Authority stations and stops. Chicago (CTA), Metra and Pace. These projects have been selected from nearly 20 applicants submitted during the 2024 Call for Community Planning Projects. Each project will receive between $10,000 and $20,000 to host public events this summer and fall, focusing on creating welcoming environments and addressing public safety concerns.

This initiative follows the RTA Public Transportation Safety Summit held in February 2024, where around 80 passengers, transportation professionals and stakeholders discussed comprehensive solutions to transportation security issues. RTA’s recently released Summit report includes recommendations such as regular transportation crime reporting, formation of non-police mental health crisis units, expansion of social service partnerships, and continued improvements in infrastructure.

“All riders and frontline workers deserve to feel safe on public transportation,” said Leanne Redden, RTA CEO. “We are excited to announce the projects selected for Transit Station Activation and see these projects come to life, helping our region’s transit stations and stops feel safer and centering them as hubs in their communities.”

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Selected projects, pending final grant agreements, include upgrades to the Cicero Green Line Station projection system by Chicago Film Archives, a plant-based pop-up festival at 63rd and Cottage Grove by Gardeneers, live cultural performances at Mandala South Asian Performing Arts Morse Red Line Station, a cultural celebration at the Maywood Station by the Maywood Chamber of Commerce, community events at the 79th Street and 147th Street Metra Stations, family activities at the Joliet Transit Center Pace, summer nighttime performances by local bands at Rogers Park Business Alliance’s Loyola Red Line Station, and free outdoor yoga sessions along Uptown United bus routes 36 and 81.

These projects are part of the ‘Transit is the Answer’ strategic plan, which focuses on improving the safety of the transit system. RTA will collaborate with grantees to survey participants and evaluate the impact of these activations.