Regional Transportation Authority


The Community Planning program provides funding and planning assistance to applicants for implementation and planning projects that benefit the community and the regional transit system.  Eligible implementation projects include zoning code updates, TOD developer discussion panels, pedestrian access improvement plans, and other innovative implementation approaches.  Eligible planning projects include TOD plans, and corridor, subregional or local access improvement plans. The Community Planning program strives to not just plan for the future, but to provide assistance that achieves results. While the RTA and CMAP (through its Local Technical Assistance Program) both have separate technical assistance programs, applicants are able to apply for both programs by using one application.  Through this coordination, the RTA and CMAP are able to offer planning and implementation assistance to an expanded base of eligible applicants, align all efforts with the GO TO 2040 Plan and provide interagency expertise, technical assistance and capacity. 

Municipalities, counties, townships, councils of government / municipal associations, groups of two or more municipalities, and the RTA Service Boards (Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace) located within the RTA's six-county service region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties) are eligible to apply to the Community Planning Program. Nongovernmental organizations must partner with a governmental organization to submit the application.   A local funding match is not required for small scale Community Planning projects.  Larger transit-focused Community Planning projects may require a local match.  Applicants will be notified if a local match will be needed prior to project approval.  Individual "not to exceed" project budgets are set by the RTA during the project development process.  Project budgets should not be included as part of your application submittal.  

If you are seeking planning assistance for projects beyond the above listed categories, please consider CMAP's Local Technical Assistance Program (LTA).  The program provides staff assistance to communities across the Chicago metropolitan region to undertake planning projects that advance the principles of GO TO 2040. 


Please visit the RTAMS site to view the status of all previously approved RTA Community Planning studies, review completed reports, and search by various criteria.


The following RTA funded Plans were honored with American Planning Association (APA) Awards. Click on the icons below to view RTAMS Project Pages and links to the Plans:

Prairie Grove Town Center  TOD Plan- 2013     Lombard Downtown Revitalization Plan 2011

Award Year: 2013                           Award Year: 2011

Manhattan Village Center Master Plan- 2011     Montgomery TOD Plan  Park-and-Ride Location Study-2010

Award Year: 2011                           Award Year: 2010

Reconnecting Neighborhoods- 2009    DuPage Area Transit Plan- 2004
Award Year: 2009                           Award Year: 2004


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Call for Projects Timeline

May 2 - Call for Projects released

May 22 -  Learn about successful LTA and Community Planning projects at the GreenTown Conference

June 3 - Information session Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at CMAP.  RSVP to Dan Olson (    

June 11 - If transit-related project, contact made to transit agency for letter of support

June 26 – Applications due before Noon CST

July -  RTA / CMAP staff will notify applicants which agency will evaluate their application

July- August -  RTA staff will contact applicants with additional questions on their application

July- August - RTA staff reviews projects

September -  Preliminary project selection recommendations released; all applicants notified

October - Project development

December 19 -RTA Board approves projects and funding for recommended projects; successful applicants notified

2013 Funding Programs Report


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