|Areas in white would be included in the proposed Super TIF area to rebuild the Red and Purple Lines|
As we've been posting for years, the CTA has big plans to modernize the North Side's Red and Purple Lines. After more than a century of use, the tracks and stations are "approaching the end of their useful life" and are 40 years past their expected lifespan. In addition to being the most heavily traveled train lines in the CTA system, they also have the fastest-growing ridership numbers. CTA plans to completely rebuild the viaducts, tracks, stations, and embankments by 2040.
|map of the entire proposed Super TIF|
area. Click to enlarge.
- Phase 1 will rebuild four stations/tracks (Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr) and create a Red-Purple bypass to improve service.
- The cost of Phase 1 is a staggering $2.3 billion. The federal government has earmarked a cool billion for the project, but there's a catch (isn't there always?) To get that money, CTA must come up with matching funds. And that leads to the possibility of a "Super TIF" -- which the state legislators authorized last June in a rare bipartisan vote. (See the Tribune for more details on the funding.)
So what makes the proposed CTA Super TIF so "super"?
- The life of the TIF would extend for up to 35 years, not the usual 23 years.
- It would not take money away from Chicago Public Schools, as TIFs usually do. The schools would receive exactly the same amount from your property taxes that they would if the TIF were not in place.
- And here's the biggie. The proposed Super TIF would include in its area all properties within a half mile on either side of the Red Line tracks, between Devon and Division. That means that virtually all of Uptown would be part of this TIF. (Of course, properties that are already in one of Uptown's four existing TIF Districts would not be included.) Check out the map for details.
The CTA has a lot of information on its website about the Red Purple Modernization project. Check it out here and here.
This is the mailing the CTA sent out to affected residents.