Regional Agencies & Boards

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Regional Transit Agency (RTA)

In 1983, the RTA Act was amended with substantial changes made to the RTA's organization, funding and operations. The amended Act created three "service boards" known as the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban bus. The RTA's primary responsibilities became financial and budgetary oversight of CTA, Metra and Pace, and regional transit planning issues.

RTA Board Meeting Schedule

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is an independent governmental agency created by state legislation. The CTA began operating on October 1, 1947 after it acquired the properties of the Chicago Rapid Transit Company and the Chicago Surface Lines. On October 1, 1952 CTA became the sole operator of Chicago transit when it purchased the Chicago Motor Coach system.


Pace is the premier suburban transit provider, quickly moving people to work and school safely and efficiently. The backbone of Chicago's suburbs, Pace serves tens of thousands of daily riders with more fixed bus routes, vanpools and Dial-a-Ride programs. Pace covers 3,500 square miles and is one of the largest bus services in North America.


CentralStMetra_0-thumb-175x115-8023Metra is the commuter rail agency serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties in the Chicago area. It is the sister agency to the Chicago Transit Authority, which provides mass transit rail (the L) and bus service to Chicago and some suburbs, and Pace, which provides bus service primarily in the suburbs. Metra serves more than 100 communities with 239 stations on eleven lines running from five stations in Chicago’s downtown. 

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the official regional planning organization for the northeastern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. By State and Federal law, CMAP is responsible for developing GO TO 2040, metropolitan Chicago's comprehensive regional plan. To be implemented starting in fall 2010, the plan will be based on a diverse, coordinated set of strategies to address projected population growth of more than 2 million new residents by 2040. This will have significant implications for transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment and other quality-of-life issues. 

Northwest Municipal Conference

Over the past 50 years, the Northwest Municipal Conference (NWMC) has been working to strengthen communities and enhance intergovernmental relationships in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago. As one of the premier regional councils of government, NWMC represents over 1.3 million citizens residing in our 42 municipalities and 1 township. Their membership area covers over 300 square miles in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.