The CTA will be able to move forward on major upgrades to one of the busiest stations in Chicago's transit system as a result of an infusion of $20 million in critical federal funding to the 95th Street Terminal Improvement Project, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Bobby Rush, Governor Pat Quinn and Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter Rogoff announced Monday. The intermodal project will reduce pedestrian and bus congestion, cut travel times, improve accessibility, and create jobs on the South Side of the city. The federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program is the most competitive transportation grant program in the nation, with more than 700 applications totaling more than $10 billion competing for the $500 million that was available.
"South Side residents who use the 95th Street station will see vast improvements to their transit experience as a result of this federal investment. The competition for this funding was fierce and I'm proud we were able to bring it home to the South Side of Chicago. We need to do more to upgrade Chicago's aging mass transit system. Passing a federal transportation bill is critical to the economy of our state. Today marks the 1,000th day since the last transportation bill expired. We have only five more days until the current extension expires to reach a deal. Chicago has a great deal on the line, including an additional $34 million per year for the CTA to help maintain and rebuild their infrastructure. Now is the time for House Republicans to stop dragging their feet. Any further delay will cost us this construction season, valuable time and life-saving improvements to our state's infrastructure," said Durbin.
"I am one hundred percent committed to having world-class infrastructure throughout the City of Chicago, and I will always fight for every opportunity to rebuild, repair, or renew our infrastructure and keep Chicago competitive," said Mayor Emanuel. "That is what I did with the $20 million of TIGER funding for this crucial project, which will help tens of thousands of Chicagoans a day get to their jobs and schools and enjoy our city in a safe, efficient fashion. This station will be an engine of job growth and opportunity for the entire south side of the city."
"The work that expansion of the 95th Street Red Line Station will provide is essential to our city's economic recovery. When that work is completed there will no doubt be improved transit service and quality of life for our citizens. I will continue to work with the Chicago Transit Authority to ensure that the economic impact of this project is realized through construction work, retail development, contracts and a fair share of the jobs for residents of the first congressional district," said Rush.
Also awarded last week, a $10.4 million TIGER grant to the State of Illinois will complete a $370 million funding package of 15 local projects in the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) program. The projects include new track and signal systems that will ease freight, Amtrak, and Metra congestion, and support 3,300 jobs throughout the six-county Chicago area. With the state leading the way with a $646 million investment, as well as a $20 million TIGER grant and other federal funds, the CTA is reconstructing the vital Red Line and 95th Street station. Plus, the $10.4 million TIGER grant to the state leverages a $360 million investment from the state and railways in the CREATE program.
"These CREATE projects will bolster Illinois' position as a national transportation leader and boost our economy by creating more jobs," Governor Quinn said. "Thanks to these key investments, we will strengthen our multimodal transportation network and improve rail performance, increase safety and reduce traffic congestion and travel times."
"On behalf of the CTA and our customers I'm grateful for the leadership of Senator Durbin, Mayor Emanuel and Governor Quinn. Their commitment to transit has helped to provide the capital needed to modernize the CTA so we can offer the best transit system for our riders," said CTA President Forrest Claypool. "This new station will offer a modern, safe and pedestrian-friendly transit center with fewer delays and shorter travel times. It will also serve as a vibrant community anchor that will act as a catalyst for new businesses and economic development, creating jobs and complementing a 21st century rider experience."
The projected cost of the project is $240 million. Work is expected to begin in 2014, after the Red Line South Track Renewal project is complete.
The 95th Street station is a critical piece of the CTA's Red Line. It connects Far South Side communities, many with limited employment opportunities, to job centers throughout the region and serves as a transit gateway for the South Side and suburbs.
It provides critical transit access for a largely minority, low income, and transit dependent population. Each weekday, approximately 20,000 riders pass through the station, most connecting to or from one of 13 bus routes that stop there--the most on the CTA system.
Senator Durbin and Mayor Emanuel led the charge to apply for this funding to make crucial upgrades on the 95th Street Terminal, which is in need of improvement and has a profound economic impact on the city.
This is the second TIGER grant that the City of Chicago has been awarded since Mayor Emanuel has taken office.
This is the latest announcement about CTA improvements in recent weeks, including the planned reconstruction of the southern end of the Red Line, which will begin in spring 2013, the complete overhaul of the entire bus fleet, which over the next two years will include the purchase of new buses and complete rehabilitation of more than 1,500 buses.