The Chicago Transit Authority’s multi-billion dollar plans for rebuilding the Purple Line in Evanston and the north end of the Red Line in Chicago got a big boost today.

Sen. Dick Durbin announced that the Federal Transit Administration has approved the CTA as the first transit agency eligible to apply for a new “core capacity” funding program enacted in 2012.

Funding for the program hasn’t yet been approved, and it’s unclear whether the CTA project will be funded or how much money it might get.

But CTA officials say the action means it can begin engineering and design work for the project.

Related stories

Red, Purple line rebuild gets big boost from feds (Chicago Business)

Plan to rebuild Red, Purple lines gets boost from federal government (Chicago Tribune)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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