U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) joined Illinois Governor Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today in announcing a $40,160,000 investment by the Department of Transportation in transit projects in Chicago, Rock Island and St. Louis. The funding includes $33,000,000 for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to help reduce their state of good repair backlog, increase ridership, and lower future operating and maintenance costs. Kirk and Durbin sent a letter to the Department of Transportation in support of the City of Chicago's application for funding earlier this year.
"Anyone who rides public transportation in Illinois knows that additional resources are needed to bring our transit systems into a state of good repair," a spokesman for Senator Kirk said. "These funds will help CTA replace outdated buses and maintenance items, improve transit asset management as well as further support the important 95th Street Terminal Improvement Project. Residents in the Quad Cities and St. Louis area also will benefit from new buses, ensuring that our transportation infrastructure remains competitive."
"Residents of Chicago's South Side who rely on the 95th Street station to get to work and travel throughout the city are getting another boost today with a $10 million investment to improve safety, reduce congestion and create good-paying jobs," said Durbin. "Upgrading transit systems and bringing new buses with more capacity and cleaner emissions to Chicago and cities throughout Illinois, improves the quality of life for all residents -- even those that don't rely on public transportation. These investments in infrastructure today will contribute to the long-term economic growth of the Quad Cities region, St. Louis and the Chicagoland area in the future."
"Illinois has invested more than $700 million in state funds to improve the CTA's Red Line, which will create jobs, reduce congestion and increase transit accessibility for passengers. Today's additional $10 million in federal funding will advance this important project," Governor Quinn said. "I want to thank Senator Durbin and Senator Kirk for their bipartisan efforts to support our rail network and economic growth in Illinois."
"Every investment in rebuilding, repairing or renewing this critical infrastructure is a win for Chicagoans and keeps our city economically competitive," said Mayor Emanuel. "Each and every day, tens of thousands of people in Chicago rely on the CTA and this opportunity will allow Chicago to deliver safe and reliable service for years to come."
The following investments in Illinois' transit infrastructure were made under this announcement:
- Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago: $20,500,000 in funding to replace outdated buses and repair critical maintenance infrastructure. Specifically, the grant will allow the CTA to replace buses that are past their useful life with extra-long sixty-foot hybrid buses that will help reduce fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The grant will also allow the CTA to replace bus hoists -- which range in age from 17 to 65 years -- that service the articulated buses which will help reduce overall maintenance costs. Finally, the grant would help finance the reconstruction of below-ground inspection pits. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the Department of Transportation's FY 2012 State of Good Repair Program.
- Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago: $10,000,000 in funding for the 95th Street Terminal Improvement Project which aims to reduce pedestrian and bus congestion, reduce travel times and improve accessibility and safety for riders at the Terminal. Planned improvements to the facility include: eliminating pedestrian and bus conflicts, adding much needed bus bays, reducing bus travel times, adding a terminal entrance on 95th Street and providing pick-up/drop-off space for disabled riders. These improvements will result in lower operating costs and higher ridership for this critical transportation hub which is the CTA's fourth busiest rail station and a major bus facility serving 20,000 daily passengers. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the Department of Transportation's FY2012 Bus Livability Program. Last month, Durbin, Kirk, Emanuel and others announced a $20 million TIGER grant through the Department of Transportation which allowed the 95th Street Terminal Improvement Project to proceed.
- Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago: $2,500,000 in funding to allow the CTA to continue with the implementation of its existing Transit Asset Management system. The project was selected on a competitive basis through the Department of Transportation's FY 2012 State of Good Repair Program to encourage transit agencies to find new, cost-effective ways to manage and maintain the condition of their systems -- everything from railroad tracks and train stations to bus facilities and electrical equipment. The recently passed transportation bill includes a new transit asset management program. A study requested by Senator Durbin in 2007 recommended Congress promote better asset management practices, especially at some of the oldest and biggest rail transit systems. The Federal Transit Administration found that sound asset management practices offer the potential to more effectively allocate limited capital funds.
- Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit, Rock Island: $2,160,000 in funding to replace 4 to 5 buses in the MetroLINK fleet that are beyond their useful lives with clean-diesel and compressed natural gas buses. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the Department of Transportation's FY 2012 State of Good Repair Program.
- Bi-State Development Agency, St. Louis: $5,000,000 in funding to replace buses that are past their useful life. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the Department of Transportation's FY 2012 State of Good Repair Program.