October 6, 2000

Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett and CTA President Frank Kruesi today expressed their thanks to local, state and federal leaders for helping secure $565 million in funding for renovation work on two CTA rail lines.

A bill authorizing the funding passed both the U.S. House and Senate today. It now must go to the White House for the President's approval.

"This is great news for CTA customers and it shows what can be accomplished when we work cooperatively," said Jarrett. ?Thanks to the support of Mayor Daley, Governor Ryan, Senators Durbin and Fitzgerald, Speaker Hastert, Congressman Lipiniski and the entire Illinois delegation, public transit users in the Chicago region can look forward to faster, smoother and less crowded service in the coming years. "

?This is a major milestone for the CTA and it wouldn?t have been possible without Governor Ryan's Illinois FIRST program which provided the state support we needed to compete for discretionary federal funding," said Kruesi. ?Mayor Daley personally led delegations to Washington D.C. to lobby for it and, in the last few months as decisions have been finalized, the decisive leadership of Speaker Hastert has made all the difference. On behalf of the CTA and its customers, I want to thank them."

The funding would mean $320 million for renovation of theCermak(Douglas) branch of the CTA's Blue Line, which serves the near southwest side, from Pilsen out to Cicero. Parts of the line are more than 100 years old and its deteriorated condition has led to slower service and a loss in ridership.

The Brown Line (formerly Ravenswood) serves Chicago's near northwest side. In recent years, ridership on the line has increased greatly and rush hour trains are jammed. The $245 million authorized today would allow the CTA to extend platforms at Brown Line stations so that longer trains could be used in rush hour service to increase capacity.

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