December 8, 2005
Federal funding for six Chicago Transit Authority capital projects has been included in the FY 2006 Federal Transportation Appropriations bill which became law on November 30. The funds are vital to ensure effective transportation networks that provide economic opportunities and support livable communities in Illinois. The authorized CTA projects will benefit customers in the city and suburbs, and those who transfer from Metra and Pace.
The appropriation identifies specific projects and specific funding amounts for those projects in 2006. The $88.7 million in funding is slated for CTA capital projects designed to rehabilitate the infrastructure and continue the CTA's efforts to bring its system to a state of good repair.
The Federal Transportation Administration 2006 appropriation includes $88.7 million for the following CTA projects:
- Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project (Full Funding Grant Agreement): $40 million
- Cermak (Douglas) Rehabilitation Blue Line (Full Funding Grant Agreement): $45.2 million
- Circle Line/Ogden Alternatives Analysis: $1 million
- Yellow Line Alternative Analysis: $1 million
- 95th Street Station (Red Line) Improvements: $800,000
- Purple Line Viaduct Replacement: $750,000
?We are grateful to federal legislators and especially the Illinois Congressional delegation for their support in making this financial commitment to the future health of public transit," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. "Our public transportation system is critical to our entire region's economic strength."
?Our customers have benefited greatly from the federal support CTA has received, especially for the leadership of Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and the support of Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Improvements such as the recently completed rebuild of the 54th/Cermak branch of the Blue Line, the purchase of new buses, current work on the rehabilitation of the Dan Ryan branch of Red Line and expanding capacity on the Brown Line, would not be possible without federal funding.
The State of Illinois? Illinois FIRST program provided matching funds for the Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project and the Cermak (Douglas) Rehabilitation of the Blue Line. That program has ended, however, and legislators are working to create a successor program.
?We look forward to working with the General Assembly and Governor Rod Blagojevich on a state funding program for matching 2006 federal funds," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?We have much to show for our efforts under the previous transportation bill and Illinois FIRST, and will work to build on that success to ensure that Illinois is in a position to pursue every federal dollar authorized and appropriated. "
Congress approved the conference agreement on the FY 2006 Appropriations for the U.S. Departments of Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, and Independent Agencies on November 18, providing $8.590 billion for federal transit programs during the current fiscal year -- 12.3 percent or $944 million more than the FY 2005 level.
While state and federal funds have enabled CTA to make substantial improvements to its infrastructure, it still faces more than $2 billion in unmet capital needs which are necessary to bring its system to a state of good repair. # # #