Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation creating the Southeast Commuter Rail Transit District. Its goal is to get the funds to make a new southeast service line a reality.
It would link nearly 20 suburban communities, including Crete, Chicago Heights and Dolton with downtown Chicago.
A final proposal is due this year. The project was authorized in 2005.
Once completed, the line would connect 33 miles between Crete's Balmoral Park and downtown Chicago's LaSalle Street Station. Locations along the line would include a Ford Motor Co. plant on Chicago's South Side and U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.