May 21, 1999

The Chicago Transit Authority today applauded the passage of the $12 billion Illinois FIRST infrastructure plan and praised Governor George Ryan for his leadership in creating the proposal and building the support needed to pass it.

Over the next five years, the Illinois FIRST package will provide the CTA with approximately $1billion in new state funds, leveraging approximately $2.8 billion, or about 70 percent of the total needed, in capital funding toward the CTA's $4.1 billion capital improvement need.

Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett said, "On behalf of the CTA, I compliment Governor George Ryan on his leadership and I thank the Illinois State Legislature for passing this instrumental funding measure that will breathe new life into mass transportation and will benefit the many city and suburban customers the CTA serves daily."

?This funding package is the downpayment on a brighter future for CTA customers. Illinois FIRST gives the CTA a major boost in its efforts to ensure on-time, clean, safe and friendly service by providing the necessary funding to purchase new buses, rebuild the deteriorating Blue Line Douglas Branch and expand the Brown Line platforms," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

In addition to capital funding, Governor Ryan has committed to fully reimbursing the CTA for reduced fares that are provided to senior citizens, students and disabled passengers. Over the last 10 years, the state's failure to provide this reimbursement had cost the CTA $126 million.

Contact: Media Realations312-222-6106
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