Bus

Chicago RTA proposes transit improvement plan

Posted on September 17, 2012

Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority announced a plan to fund capital improvements for transit systems across Chicago and the suburbs.

The $2.5 billion initiative stands to improve overall experiences and travel times for CTA, Metra and Pace riders, while also helping to lower each agency’s operating costs, and places no additional burden on riders or taxpayers.

“System-wide, riders are suffering from an aging infrastructure that’s only deteriorating further because there just aren’t enough funds to properly repair what needs to be fixed,” said John S. Gates, Jr., chairman of the RTA board. “We recognize the need to show a strong commitment to providing safe, reliable and affordable public transportation throughout the Chicago area and believe this plan provides the necessary funding to do that.”

The plan calls for issuing a series of bonds over the next five years, averaging about $500 million in capital improvement dollars each year. While each agency would be able to prioritize the projects to fund, the RTA has an existing list of backlogged projects it will reference before approving expenditures.

“We must make the kind of investments necessary to reduce the nearly $100 million we spend each year simply maintaining the system,” Gates said.

The RTA would take advantage of its strong AA bond rating to secure the funds. The RTA’s bond rating is lower than that of the State or any of the service boards so it can be competitive in the financial markets. Projected growth in RTA revenues would more than cover the debt service.

The CTA, Metra and Pace are facing a massive shortfall in state and federal funding for capital projects over the next five years. Only $700 million has been budgeted for improvements with those agencies each year — far less than the $1.3 billion needed just to keep the system from getting worse.

In seeking approval to issue the bonds, the RTA is also proposing streamlining the funding process for public transportation.  The RTA is proposing moving from a complex funding formula to a vastly simpler, more regional approach, which will allow the service boards to maintain their current revenue.   

This proposal calls for dividing bonding funds in the same manner as dividing of public funds — CTA receiving 56%, Metra 32% and Pace 12%.  These are the same proportions received in 2012.

The RTA plan will be introduced in the January 2013 legislative session.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

FTA confirmed to speak on new bus testing rule, more at BusCon 2016

A Transit Maintenance Forum pass is $98 and includes the forum as well as access to BusCon’s full educational program, the exhibit hall full of buses, networking event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and much more.

Forest River ranks Top 3 Spots in Ford's top volume accounts

Starcraft Bus, Elkhart Coach and Glaval Bus finished first, second and third, respectively.

Tripling of insurance premiums confronts bus drivers in labor dispute

The cost of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan coverage for The Rapid drivers is proposed to spike 49 percent Oct. 1, pushing up monthly premiums for family coverage by $669.

CapMetro plan would nearly triple high-frequency routes

The changes recommended in the Connections 2025 draft plan would be implemented in phases over the next 10 years.

French bus operator becomes first in Europe to accept Bitcoin

Isilines, a new long-distance passenger transport division of Transdev Group, has been using Bitcoin as a method of payment alongside traditional credit card payments on its website since early August.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close