U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the closing of a $255 million Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to buy new railcars, helping to modernize one of the oldest and busiest transit systems in the country.
CTA will use the TIFIA loan to purchase 490 railcars, replacing nearly one third of the aging railcars in its entire fleet. The new railcars will help meet growing ridership demand and improve security with up-to-date technology. Modernizing CTA’s rail fleet also will improve the reliability of transit service and give passengers a smoother, more comfortable ride. Along with these benefits to riders, replacing old cars with new technologically advanced vehicles will help CTA reduce energy and maintenance costs.
The U.S. Department of Transportation previously provided CTA with $199 million in TIFIA loans for a track upgrade project and a bus and rail terminal rehabilitation. In February 2015, the U.S. DOT announced the closing of a $120 million TIFIA loan for improvements to the Blue Line to upgrade tracks and stations between the downtown Loop and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
In addition to the TIFIA loan, CTA received $16 million in the U.S. DOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) funds awarded in 2011. In April 2014, the U.S. DOT announced the closing of a $79 million TIFIA loan for the rehabilitation of the 95th Street Bus and Rail Terminal. In addition to the TIFIA loan, CTA received $20 million in TIGER funds awarded in 2012 for the project.