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Illinois legislators approve capital funds for Chicago-area transit agencies


The Illinois General Assembly recently passed a capital bill that includes $1.8 billion for mass transit in northeastern Illinois.

Chicago's Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) — along with the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and bus agency Pace — already have identified and prioritized the most pressing capital needs, such as replacing rail cars and repairing track.

However, the agencies still need additional funds. RTA's strategic plan identifies $10 billion in state capital funding needs during the next five years to maintain, improve and expand the regional transit system. RTA also will lead efforts to identify new resources for a long-term transit funding source.

In April, Illinois legislators approved a separate capital bill designed to jump-start the state's economy. The legislation included $900 million for mass transit improvements. The last capital bill, Illinois FIRST, was approved in 1999.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/1/2009