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North Central Service Project (RTA-NCS)

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) announced today the launch of a new study to explore possible funding sources to support ridership growth along Metra’s North Central Service (NCS) corridor. In 2017, the Village of Mundelein applied for technical assistance through the RTA’s Community Planning program to conduct this study. The RTA is partnering with Mundelein to conduct the study with support from Metra, the Lake County Transportation Alliance and other stakeholders along the NCS line.

“This study is collaborative by design to assure we receive input from a variety of stakeholders who could ultimately benefit from improvements to the NCS line along this corridor,” said Leanne Redden, RTA Executive Director. “It will help identify the specific improvements needed to provide additional service on the NCS line while also analyzing funding and legislative strategies that can help make this vision a reality.”

“The NCS currently operates a limited schedule with limited success in terms of ridership. We are excited to work with the communities and local stakeholders to identify new sources of funding to support service on this line,” said Jim Derwinski, Metra CEO/Executive Director.”

“In the past few years, Metra representatives have been very open about the realities facing their budget and the impacts to service, including the NCS. Rather than sit idle, Mundelein engaged the RTA and line stakeholders to come together for a solution. This isn’t a quick fix or a temporary solution. We need longevity. All Transit Oriented Developments (TOD’S) on this line suffer with service cuts,” explained Amanda Orenchuk, Community Development Director, Village of Mundelein.

The study is a first of a kind for the RTA’s Community Planning program, which provides technical assistance to transit-served communities throughout the region. The program has never researched funding mechanisms that could result in a model for the region’s transportation network. The project team will begin the study by collecting data and stakeholder input, conducting a public survey and talking with riders to help identify the most relevant service enhancements, and determine the public’s preferences regarding securing the funding necessary to support the line.

This is one of many transit planning and implementation projects through the RTA’s Community Planning Program. These projects plan for development and redevelopment surrounding transit services and for studies that identify ways to improve access to transit stations and stops. The program began in 1998 and, to date, has completed or is in the process of completing 195 planning and plan implementation projects across the six-county RTA region.

For more information about the RTA’s Community Planning program, visit www.rtachicago.org/cp.