Chicago was awarded two of the highly competitive federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants. The Chicago Transit Authority received $20 million to fund the 95th Street station on the Red Line. The TIGER award will be combined with an $80 million TIFIA loan, bond sales, and other state and federal funds as part of an overall $240 million funding package. With 20,000 riders passing through it every day, the 95th Street station is one of the CTA’s busiest. It also is a critical connection for far south side communities to job centers throughout the region. The intermodal project will reduce pedestrian and bus congestion, cut travel times, improve accessibility, and be a catalyst for new economic development on Chicago’s south side.
Also awarded was a $10.4 million grant to the State of Illinois for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program. The grant will complete a $370 million funding package for 15 local projects to improve track and signal systems that will ease freight, Amtrak, and Metra congestion, and support 3,300 jobs throughout the Chicago region. The Metropolitan Planning Council supported the application because CREATE ensures Chicago’s place as a national competitor for efficient freight operations, guaranteeing jobs and providing businesses an efficient way to move products throughout the nation and world. CREATE results in increased economic competitiveness for the region and nation, including the creation of jobs, and improvement of community livability, sustainability, and safety.
The TIGER grant program is the most competitive transportation grant program in the nation, with more than 700 applications totaling more than $10 billion competing for the $500 million that was available.