[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL-05) today announced $200,000,000 in federal funding for the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) railcar replacement efforts. This funding comes through the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023 Rail Vehicle Replacement (RVR) Program, helping transit systems with much-needed capital improvements to replace rail rolling stock.
“Updating our nation’s rapid transit rail rolling stock is critically important to help riders safely and efficiently move throughout their cities,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to join Senator Durbin and Representative Quigley in announcing this substantial funding for the CTA, and I’ll keep working to help improve transit development, modernization and accessibility for all Chicagoans.”
“Modernizing our transportation infrastructure is critical for the growth and prosperity of Illinois communities,” said Durbin. “This federal investment will not only improve the safety and reliability of CTA, but it will support our economy. I'll continue advocating for funding that improves the quality of life for all Illinoisans.”
“Chicagoans rely on public transportation every day. The funding provided by the Biden Administration will allow CTA to replace its oldest, most outdated railcars with more modern, safe, and reliable cars, ensuring riders can get to where they’re going on-time and with ease,” said Quigley. “As ranking member of the Subcommittee that funds DOT, I look forward to working closely with Secretary Buttigieg as this funding is delivered. I will continue to find ways to make our transit systems safer, reliable, and more efficient for generations to come.”
“This is a fantastic day for the Chicago Transit Authority and transit users. Chicago residents and visitors use the CTA daily to get to work and school, to meet with friends and family, and to visit iconic destinations throughout our City,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Thank you to our federal delegation, Secretary Buttigieg, and President Biden for investing $200M to help modernize our system. With this grant, CTA can invest in the next generation of railcars and help improve the transit experience for all.”
“Like many older transit systems, the CTA must regularly invest in modernizing its fleet to replace aging vehicles that are beyond their useful life,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Thanks to the leadership and support of Senators Duckworth and Durbin, and the entire Illinois delegation, CTA now has funding needed to begin planning and designing for the future procurement of our next-generation of railcars, which will allow us to provide our riders with safer and more reliable rail services, as well as improved technologies to make public transit a more convenient and accessible travel option.”
The CTA rail fleet of nearly 1,500 railcars is composed of three different models purchased between 1981 and 2015. The age of railcars impacts their performance, which is why public transit railcars like those used on the CTA have a useful life expectancy of 31 years, with routine maintenance. Once railcars reach this age, they tend to experience more frequent and costlier repairs, which can impact service reliability.
Funding provided to CTA through this FTA grant program will support the commutes and travel of the millions who use the CTA and allow the agency to begin planning and designing for the future procurement of its next generation of railcars – the 9000-Series. This next generation of railcars would replace CTA’s oldest railcars that were manufactured more than 40 years ago.