Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Progress IL: Chicago Area Transit Officials Relieved By Passage Of Federal Transit Bill

And one possibility of this money provided in the bill - not yet signed into law - is the funding for the proposed CTA Red Line Extension towards 130th Street.
The massive federal bill that outlines spending for both highway and public transit projects finally cleared Congress Friday. Local transit officials are happy, though some national observers are a bit more skeptical.

“This is a step forward and gives us a little stability,” Joseph Costello, executive director of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) told Progress Illinois.

According to Costello, the bill provides a feasible way for RTA to get additional federal money for projects such as the long overdue extension of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Red Line. CTA is under the umbrella of RTA, which also is in charge of the region's suburban trains and buses.

RTA could get federal “New Start” money if they can show to the U.S. Transportation Department that extending the Red Line will probably increase system capacity by 10 percent. Costello anticipates that will not be a problem as CTA is already “oversubscribed” with passengers.

Costello, though, would not say what federal money RTA would apply for, stating that the agency was reviewing its options.
Looks like the southern portion of the Red Line will have a lot on it's plate in the next few years. A shutdown to repair all the tracks in the median of the Dan Ryan Expressway during the span of 5 months. And then the year after that an upgrade or complete reconstruction of the current south terminal of the Red Line at 95th. Now, potentially funding for the extension south of 95th Street.

Are things looking up?

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