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12/18/2015



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Chicago RTA OKs $3.9 billion capital budget for local transit agencies


The Regional Transportation Authority of Chicago (RTA) yesterday adopted a five-year $3.9 billion capital budget for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace.

The budget includes an estimated $872 million in capex for 2016.

In the upcoming year, the RTA will set aside $217 million for a modernization project along CTA's Red and Purple lines, according to the budget document. Also in 2016, the CTA will receive $32 million to perform rehabilitation work on its rail cars and order new ones.

Over the next five years, Metra will receive $87 million to install positive train control. Additionally, the commuter railroad will receive funds for its fleet modernization plan, which includes the replacement and rehabilitation of rail cars and locomotives.

"The recent passage of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation or the FAST Act is a bright spot in the long-term capital budget process. We believe this five-year package, which includes $61 billion for public transportation, will benefit CTA, Metra, Pace and ADA Paratransit riders, as it gives agencies some funding certainty as they move forward with their capital plan," said RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden in a press release.

The increased levels of funding could translate to more than $250 million in additional formula funding for the region over the five years, Redden added.

The RTA also approved a $2.9 billion operating budget, which allocates the following amounts to each agency: CTA, $1.47 billion; Metra, $759.8 million; Pace Suburban Bus Service, $228 million; Pace Regional ADA Paratransit, $174.8 million; and the RTA $35.2 million.

The budgets were created and approved with the assumption that state transit funding will remain stable in 2016, RTA officials said.



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