The Chicago area’s congressional delegation delivered for Metra in 2022, helping secure $204.1 million in competitive federal grants for Metra projects, according to the agency's news release. This is the most in Metra’s history.
The amount includes the largest discretionary grant Metra has ever received — $117 million for the next phase of the UP North Line bridge replacement program.
“Metra had a phenomenal year when it came to winning competitive grants, and we credit our hard-working and supremely effective Illinois congressional delegation for that success,” said Jim Derwinski, Metra CEO. “So, on behalf of Metra, its Board of Directors, and its riders, I would like to thank Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, Representatives Robin Kelly, Jesus Garcia, Mike Quigley, Sean Casten, Danny Davis, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Jan Schakowsky, Bradley Schneider, Bill Foster and Lauren Underwood, and former Representatives Bobby Rush and Marie Newman. We are fortunate to have such great representation.”
The haul in grants was in addition to the usual federal capital funds that are allocated to public transportation agencies by preset formulas. In 2022, Metra received $247.8 million in federal formula funds, which can be spent on a wide variety of capital needs.
The additional grants, which were awarded through a competitive process and must be spent on a specific project, include:
- $117 million to help fund the replacement of bridges over 11 streets along the UP North Line between Fullerton and Addison. In nominal dollars, it is the largest grant Metra has ever received.
- $37.6 million to renovate and make ADA accessible the 59th-60th St./University of Chicago Station on the Metra Electric Line.
- $29 million to renovate and make ADA accessible the 95th St./Chicago State University Station, an application filed with the assistance of Cook County.
- $20 million was secured by Pace in partnership with Metra to renovate and expand the Harvey Station and adjoining Pace Harvey Transportation Center.
- $500,000 to help plan Metra’s service rebound.
In addition to the federal grants, Metra also received a $400,000 grant from Cook County to help pay for the engineering/design of a renovation of the Rogers Park Station on the UP North Line.