Chicago Red Line Extension (RLE) is a proposed 5.3 mile (8.5km) extension to the Line, which runs along 23 miles (37km) of track and is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
The Chicago Red Line extension project is part of the Red Ahead Programme, a comprehensive project initiated by CTA to expand Chicago’s Red and Purple Lines.
The RLE will extend the Red Line from the 95th Street Terminal to 130th Street in Chicago, providing rapid transit rail access to the low-income, transit-dependent Far South Side area. It will therefore enables faster access to jobs, education and other public transportation.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022, and operations are expected to start in 2026.
Estimated to cost $2.3bn. As a result, the project aims to create 29,000 jobs in the region.
CTA shortlisted one preferred alternative out of multiple options considered for the Red Line extension in 2014. In Fact the preferred alternative has two possible options (the east extension and the west extension). Finally, one of which will be finalised based on public consultation, environmental review and federal financing next year.
A draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project was prepared by CTA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). This was made available for public consultation in October 2016.
Based on the statement, CTA will prepare a final EIS selecting either the east or west extension as the final option by late 2018.The South Side extension was part of the “Go to 2040” plan released in 2010 by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. Ultimately, Agency is responsible for land-use and transportation planning in the seven-county Chicago area.
Afterwards , CTA will then begin a project development phase, followed by a final engineering phase. It will move into the five-year construction phase once it receives funding from the FTA.