Chicago Transit Board Passes Resolution on Capital Funding Needs

February 14, 2007

At today's Chicago Transit Board meeting, board members passed a resolution establishing the capital funding needs of the Chicago Transit Authority through 2011 which reiterates the CTA's unfunded capital needs submitted to the RTA last August.

Capital needs totaling $6.1 billion were submitted to the RTA for the Moving Beyond Congestion report, but the final report only identified $5 billion in new capital funds for the CTA. Shrinking CTA's Capital Funding Plan by $1.1 billion would require cutting projects necessary to maintain CTA's infrastructure and bring the regional system to a state of good repair.

The resolution asked that the evaluation consider cost-effectiveness, land use and other applicable federal standards.

"I am pleased that the RTA's Moving Beyond Congestion report calls for increased investment in transit," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?Last year CTA completed a detailed capital needs assessment to provide RTA and state lawmakers with as much information as possible about what is needed to restore our system to a state of good repair. With this action we are asking RTA and the State of Illinois to conduct an objective cost-benefit analysis of the region's capital needs to ensure that we invest to maintain our system."

Capital projects include replacing and rehabbing aging buses and trains to improve reliability and customer comfort; retrofitting rail cars with cameras to enhance customer safety and system security; rebuilding train stations to increase circulation and accessibility; expanding the new Bus Tracker program to provide arrival information for all bus lines; upgrading the public address system to offer timely and clear information during service disruptions; upgrading signal and communications system to improve system reliability; and extending the Red, Orange and Yellow Lines.

?Our long-standing capital goal is to reach what is known in the transit industry as a 'state of good repair? which requires that equipment and facilities are upgraded and replaced in a timely manner and that service management systems should be modern and reliable," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?We run a 24/7 operation with a heavy and growing daily demand and continued investment is required to achieve and maintain a state of good repair."

In recent years the CTA has made significant progress in its capital program thanks to federal funding and the state's last capital program, Illinois FIRST, which provided the CTA with more than $800 million in investment between 2000 and 2004 and enabled it to leverage federal funding. As a result, the CTA increased the investment in its capital program from 19 percent of the funding needed to get to a state of good repair in 1999 to nearly 60 percent by 2004.

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