Extending the Red Line, developing a bus rapid transit program and encouraging businesses to invest in transit upgrades are among Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's top transit priorities, according to a 72-page transition report he released today.
Emanuel's administration says it will overhaul the Red Line by extending it south to 130th Street, modernizing stations and track north of the Belmont stop and rebuilding tracks south to 95th Street.
This agenda may seem familiar. The CTA board voted in August 2009 to extend the Red Line to 130th Street. Earlier this year, the CTA announced various ideas for revitalizing the Purple Line and the northern section of the Red Line but there is no funding in place for these ideas.
The CTA also is currently working on the tracks on the southern portion of the Red Line.
On the buses front, Emanuel said his administration will initiate a study in the next year of whether Western or Ashland Avenue is better suited for bus rapid transit, express-bus service that would rely on bus-only lanes.
The CTA has received grants in the past to develop bus rapid transit including along Jeffery Boulevard from 103rd Street to downtown.
A full bus rapid transit pilot can be completed in two to three years after the initial study, according to the report.
In his first 100 days in office, Emanuel said he will establish principles for transit-related development that may include expedited permitting, use of tax credits and partnerships with private companies.
The transition report relied on input from eight transition panels Emanuel named for different issues.
The 14-member transportation and infrastructure committee included CTA board member Jacky Grimshaw and longtime politico Forrest Claypool, who was picked by Emanuel last month to be the next CTA president.