Green light for historic modernization of Chicago’s Red and Purple lines

Written by Railway Age Staff
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The Chicago Transit Authority will issue a Request for Qualifications to select a pool of contractors for its Red and Purple Modernization Program.

As part of a two-step procurement process, the RFQ covers the first phase of the RPM, which the agency said will significantly modernize, improve and increase rail service in Chicago.

The first phase will rebuild four of the oldest Red Line stations and track structures, and construct a rail bypass to unclog a 100-year-old junction where Red, Purple and Brown Line trains currently intersect. This will allow CTA to significantly increase the number of trains it can run along the Red Line to reduce overcrowding and meet growing demand for transit service.

“Today we move closer to providing Chicagoans an improved commute on the Red Line, our busiest line, by beginning the process of seeking qualified firms to build this important project,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “By securing earlier this year a historic funding agreement for the first phase of our plan to rebuild the Red and Purple Lines, we are now able to take the next step in what is one of the biggest modernization projects in CTA history and follow through with the promise we made to our customers to improve train service and increase station accessibility.”

Once a pool of candidates is finalized, expected later this year, CTA will then invite the potential bidders to submit proposals on how they propose designing and building RPM Phase One when the agency issues its Request for Proposals in 2018. The proposals will be considered on a variety of criteria, including experience, price and other factors.

The first phase is expected to create 5,700 construction jobs. CTA will host numerous outreach events to encourage participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)-certified firms and other minority owned firms that wish to participate in the project. Additionally, the project RFP will include a community-based workforce development component.

More information on the project can be accessed at





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