Project Goals & Schedule


The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has conducted the Chicago Union Station Master Plan Study in a collaborative effort with extensive participation from Amtrak (the station’s owner), Metra (the station’s primary tenant), and other stakeholder organizations. The current planning efforts represent a continuation of the City of Chicago’s longstanding interests in improving passenger transportation and interchange facilities in the Union Station area, consistent with the City’s Central Area ACTION Plan of 2009 and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning’s GO TO 2040 regional plan.

Union Station is one of the region’s key transportation facilities and economic drivers. It is the third-busiest railroad terminal in the United States, serving over 300 trains per weekday carrying about 120,000 arriving and departing passengers – a level of passenger traffic that would rank it among the ten busiest airports in the U.S. Most travelers at Union Station take Metra commuter trains. The Station is also the hub of Amtrak’s network of regional trains serving the Midwest as well as most of the nation’s overnight trains, which connect to the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts.

This Study identifies potential ideas for adding tracks and platforms, as well as possible opportunities for improving passenger flows. Short, medium, and long-term opportunities have been identified to assist Amtrak, Metra, and other station stakeholders in preparing for these future improvements.


  1. Provide sufficient capacity for significant increases in Metra and intercity ridership
    • estimated 40% increase in trains by 2040
    • possible significant further increases
  2. Make the terminal more inviting for passengers
  3. Provide more direct and convenient transfers to buses, CTA trains, taxis, shuttles, pick-up/drop-off
  4. Create a terminal that is vibrant, a civic asset, and a catalyst for growth in the West Loop and region


Project Schedule

Develop simulation models to evaluate alternatives for:

  • Street access improvements
  • Tracks/platform improvements
  • Station configuration improvements

Identify agencies that will:

  • Seek full funding for individual projects
  • Lead each project through the planning, environmental review, detailed design, and construction processes
  • Explore Public/Private PartnershipOpportunities

Continued Public Outreach for each project

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