Funding for two major Chicago Transit Authority construction projects advanced today in the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives at a mark up on federal FY04 transportation spending. The Committee bill recommends allocating $85 million in funding for reconstruction of the Cermak (Douglas) Blue Line and $45 million to expand capacity on the CTA's Brown Line.
The Blue Line project, for which the CTA has a Full Funding Grant Agreement, has been underway since Summer 2001. The CTA is completing design and engineering on the Brown Line project and is in the final stage of securing a Full Funding Grant Agreement. It expects to begin construction later this year. The Blue Line and Brown Line project are located in the districts of Congressmen Luis Gutierrez, Rahm Emanuel and Danny Davis. These leaders have worked hard on behalf of the projects.
Today's appropriation is an important step in the federal funding process and enables the CTA funding to advance to the House for consideration.
Illinois Representatives on the House Appropriations Committee are Representatives Ray LaHood, Mark Kirk and Jesse Jackson, Jr.
CTA President Frank Kruesi thanked the Illinois delegation for its support of public transit. ?A modern, efficient public transit network is critical to the economy, environment, and vitality of Northeastern Illinois. The Illinois delegation recognizes the wisdom of investing in these important transportation projects and the return this investment will bring to the regions they serve."
In addition to the members of the Appropriations Committee, Kruesi said that other Illinois leaders have been strong supporters of public transit and have helped the CTA and its sister agencies, Metra and Pace, secure funding for priority projects.
"Chicago area transit agencies, and the commuters they serve, are fortunate to have strong, bi-partisan support from House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Congressman Bill Lipinski, and the entire Illinois House delegation as well as Senators Dick Durbin and Peter Fitzgerald. Competition for transportation funds is fierce, but Illinois is represented by leaders who understand transit's value and fight for the funds necessary to maintain and improve the Chicago area's mass transit systems," said Kruesi.###