The Connector: Proposed Rail Transit Expansion

The Connector Initiative is a plan to improve the mobility of people in Chicago's Central Area by providing a new high capacity transit service.  The new service will connect with and extend the reach of the existing transit rail network to far corners of the .12-square-mile urban core.  New businesses and jobs will be generated that will be accessible to communities throughout the City and the region. 

Project Scope

This Initiative involved identifying the best ways to: 

  • Add needed transit capacity in the fastest-growing part of the city

  • Significantly increase developable central area land

  • Plan phased construction to keep capital outlays manageable

  • Provide an opportunity to reduce the cost and complexity of land acquisition needed for transit given the central area’s abundance of unused rail right-of-way, vacant land, and publicly owned land

Project Summary

At the time of the Initiative, a booming central area strained the ‘L’ and expansion was essential if growth was to continue. The CCAC team proposed a ‘Connector’ rail line to ease crowding, triple the size of core, and promote neighborhood revitalization at modest cost. Learn more about this Initiative through the full project summary below. 

Project Summary

Policy Paper

This white paper proposes the construction of a new central area transit line (the “Connector”) to add needed capacity in the fastest-growing part of the city. The paper calls for construction of 14 miles of new transit line, approximately 70% of which would be located on or adjacent to existing rail right-of-way, vacant land or public property. The Connector would be built in phases and could be funded through a combination of a special service area (SSA) and a “transit TIF” (tax increment finance district). Click on the link below to read the entire proposal. 

Policy Paper

Map

The Case for Rail Transit Expansion in the Chicago Central Area devised a plan to expand the current 'L' transit system. View the entire proposed Connector Route below.

Full Route 

Press

Crain's Chicago Business news detailed the CCAC's work and the potential economic implications of the CCAC's proposal in the article, The $100 million dream: MacArthur may fund better Loop, Obama library transit. Click the link below to read the full story. 

Article

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