For Community Members

For Community Members

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to get your child to an activity or maybe you’re rushing home from the grocery store. You almost made it—then the gate at the railroad crossing came down and now you’re counting the minutes while your child complains about being late or the ice cream melts.

The CREATE Program is modernizing Chicago’s railroad network so we spend less time sitting in traffic and more time getting where we need to go. Better railroads also mean safer rail crossings, cleaner air, improved neighborhoods and job opportunities. A growing economy requires growing capacity to ship goods and move people—especially by rail.

The CREATE Program includes 70 coordinated railroad improvement projects throughout the Chicago region.  You can find out how these projects may affect your neighborhood and community on our website and at our public involvement opportunities. The CREATE Program is committed to working with local businesses, especially certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), and providing educational and career opportunities for people in the communities in which CREATE projects are located. If you are a business owner, community member, parent or teacher interested in learning more about the CREATE Program, please reach out to us or participate in an upcoming public engagement opportunity.

Hear from a Riverdale community member and small business owner, Denise Harries-Watters.

For Denise Harries-Watters, owning a small business in Chicago keeps her on the go. But too often, Denise winds up waiting at rail crossings and has to figure out news ways to get to places on time.

“When I used to work outside of my house, my route to work involved crossing the tracks on 138th and 144th streets. I would always get stuck by the trains and it was aggravating and added stress to my day. Now, running my business, I’ve learned to re-route myself. I take different routes to get around trains so I don’t sit in traffic and wait.”

-Denise Harries-Watters, Riverdale resident and small business owner.

The CREATE Program’s railroad improvement projects will help reduce train delays at rail crossings that disrupt the lives and work of community members like Denise Harries-Watters. The 70 projects in the CREATE Program are designed to increase capacity, improve efficiency, and sustain economic growth while improving the quality of life for people living in the neighborhoods through which the trains pass.