CREATE Program Benefits Fact Sheets
Stronger Regional and National Economies
Freight and passenger railroads employ 18,373 people in Illinois. There are 38,000+ rail-related jobs, including rail suppliers in Illinois, representing $1.7 billion in annual wages. Railroad wages are highly competitive, averaging $111,630 including benefits.
According to U.S. DOT, the volume of imported and exported goods transported via rail to, from, or through Chicago is forecast to increase nearly 150 percent between 2010 and 2040. More high value products will be shipped via rail in the coming years, so efficient and reliable service will be increasingly important. Infrastructure improvements planned through the CREATE Program are critical to fully unlocking the potential of the national freight rail system to serve significant future demand.
A Better Quality of Life for Northeastern Illinois
Regionally, CREATE will enhance passenger rail service, reduce motorist delays, increase public safety, improve air quality, create and retain jobs, and strengthen economic competitiveness.
- New overpasses, underpasses and other improvements will reduce the time Chicago-area motorists spend waiting at railroad crossings by thousands of hours a day.
- Potential crashes and injuries at 25 existing grade crossings will be eliminated.
- Police and fire emergency vehicle routes will be improved in neighborhoods with new overpasses or underpasses of rail lines.
- Travel times for commuters on many Metra lines will improve and schedules will become more reliable.
- Capacity on Metra's SouthWest and Heritage lines will increase. CREATE also will permit the increased use of LaSalle Street Station, freeing capacity at Union Station.
- Emissions from cars, trucks and locomotives will be greatly reduced, improving air quality.
- Noise from idling or slow-moving trains will be reduced in residential neighborhoods.