Statement on Funding for the Brown Line

November 13, 2003

From the Congress of the United States

Cecelia Prewett (Emanuel) -- 202-226-7639
Jason Tai (Lipinski) -- 202-225-5701
Joe Shoemaker (Durbin) -- 202-224-7028
Noelle Gaffney (Kruesi and Brown) -- 312-222-6128

Statement on Funding for the Brown Line from
Senator Durbin, U.S. Representatives Emanuel, Lipinski
and CTA Officials Brown and Kruesi

?We are pleased to announce that the CTA's historic Ravenswood (Brown Line) will receive a Full Funding Grant Agreement for its renovation. This $246 million investment in the neighborhoods of Chicago's northwest side is essential to the city's economic vitality, maintaining jobs and benefiting the many families and businesses the Brown Line serves.

We are delighted that this historic renovation of the Brown Line is on track and leaving the station--bringing jobs today and stronger neighborhoods down the line.

We would like to thank Speaker Hastert, Mayor Daley, and Governor Blagojevich for their hard work and long-time commitment to making the renovation of the Brown Line a reality."

Background on the Brown Line

Built more than a century ago, the Brown Line serves as a vital link between the northwest side and downtown. Along the way, it winds through some of Chicago's historic neighborhoods: Ravenswood, North Center, Wrigleyville, Lakeview, and Lincoln Park. With more than 60,000 commuters each day, ridership has increased approximately 83 percent since 1979.

Because of the Brown Line's age, it can only accommodate six-car trains, and not the eight-car trains used elsewhere on the CTA system, meaning the Brown Line is unable to meet demand. In fact, it is not unusual for commuters to wait several full trains before being able to board a train in the morning rush hour.

The United States Department of Transportation and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) have entered into a Full Funding Grant Agreement for the renovation. This agreement is the culmination of hard work by city officials and the Illinois Congressional delegation, led by Speaker Hastert, to secure funds for Chicago's metropolitan rail projects. The Full Funding Grant Agreement guarantees that the federal government will contribute $246 million of ?New Starts? funds toward the project's total cost of $529.9 million, ensuring the completion of the project.

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