Funding to encourage transit use in Evanston


Sean Su/Daily Senior Staffer

A train pulls away from a CTA station in Evanston.

Rebecca Savransky, Managing Editor

Evanston will receive a $25,000 grant to investigate potential changes to the city’s zoning ordinances to increase public transit use among residents, according to an announcement from the Regional Transportation Authority last week.

The funding was awarded by the RTA, which oversees all public transit provided through the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra community rail and Pace bus service. The money will help Evanston look into a citywide transit-oriented development parking policy, which would encourage the use of CTA and Metra stations.

The policy looks to prevent the construction of unnecessary parking spots around transit stations by making revisions to the city’s current zoning codes.

The project would assess the supply and demand of parking spots near the stations, so that the city can change the number to better reflect the need of transit users. The new parking policy and changed zoning ordinances will affect all stations.

The RTA provided funding to 16 projects in Evanston and other towns through its Community Planning program, which is in its 16th year. In total, the organization will allott $810,000 to the various projects, sourced from federal, local and RTA funds.

Ultimately, the goal is to improve economic development near transit stations and increase transit use.

“Through these programs, the RTA awards funding and technical assistance for projects that create transit-supportive local plans,” Leanne Redden, acting executive director of the RTA, said in a news release. “In addition to helping to reduce congestion and improve air quality, these plans help the RTA maximize use of its transit system and tap into new markets that may lead to the creation of more jobs and sustainable communities.”

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Twitter: @beccasavransky