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Mundelein Trustees Adopt Resolution to Accept RTA Grant Funds to Conduct NCS Study

At the November 27, 2017 Mundelein Village Board Meeting, the Trustees adopted a Resolution accepting terms for receipt of a grant from the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) to commence a planning and implementation study relating to the North Central Service (NCS) Corridor Analysis and Implementation Plan Proposal. The North Central Service line runs from Antioch to Chicago and has interim stops at O’Hare and Rosemont.

In taking bold steps, the Village of Mundelein’s intent is to position Lake County and NCS stakeholders as the leaders of intergovernmental cooperation to explore opportunities to increase train service, plan for enhancements to the NCS line, outline an implementation plan, identify funding for infrastructure improvements, provide parameters for legal authority to move forward, and create actionable steps.

After yearly observations of budget deficits for Metra, decreased funding from Federal and State Agencies, and the pressures of the need for more service to meet demand of current and future residents, Mundelein officials applied for the grant and contacted all stakeholders to make this a regional effort. The $125,000 total cost for the study is divided into $100,000 paid for through the RTA and $25,000 local match from Mundelein.

“In terms of economic development, transportation plays an essential role in a community’s ability to grow. Looking to the future, transportation will continue to be one of the most important determining factors for a community’s growth and development. It’s vital that we, along with all of our Lake County neighbors, do all we can to increase service on the North Central line to improve access employment, transportation hubs such as O’Hare Airport and Downtown Chicago, housing in various communities, entertainment venues such as Rosemont, housing opportunities, and the various amenities in transit-oriented developments,” explains Amanda Orenchuk, Community Development Director.

“It is unrealistic to expect better public transportation service without cooperative and invested efforts with the agencies to enhance these services. In 2016, the City of Chicago passed a new TIF that dedicates funds for the Red Line/Purple Line Modernization Project. Using this concept as precedent, we were inspired to begin a coordinated effort to increase and enhance service along the North Central Service Metra line. The NCS is a challenging line, but one with significant opportunity for all of the stakeholders in the region,” Orenchuk adds.

According to Orenchuk, this is an aggressive study that requires a significant intergovernmental and interagency coordination resulting in progressive innovations leading to benefits system-wide for RTA, Metra, and the stakeholders.

“Looking at the current state of transit in the Chicago suburbs, particularly limited lines such as the NCS, it is apparent that if we do nothing, the fate of the transit-oriented developments, along with decades of work, will be in jeopardy. The NCS needs time and resources to show its true potential compared to legacy lines like the Milwaukee District North, the Union Pacific North, and the BNSF,” Orenchuk says.

Primary stakeholders include: Metra, Canadian National, RTA, CMAP, Lake County Transportation Alliance, Lake County, City of Chicago, River Grove, Franklin Park, Schiller Park, Rosemont, O’Hare Airport, Prospect Heights, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Prairie View, Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Libertyville, Grayslake, Round Lake Beach, Lake Villa, and Antioch.

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