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

Proterra, Michelin develop low-rolling resistance tire for e-buses

The X InCity Energy Z tires help to reduce rolling resistance, increase load-carry capacity and leverage superior traction.

MCI touts 'revolutionary accessibility' of commuter coach, battery-electric plans

Offers modern styling and rider comfort with passenger accessibility via a second door with a low-entry automatic ramp system.

Roam Public Transit celebrates addition of new MCI D45 CRT coaches

The new model features an ergonomically designed spiral entryway, curb-level ramp, and second door that opens into a low-entry vestibule.

GILLIG, Cummins to display battery electric bus at APTA Mobility

The bus initially incorporates the standard 444 kWh battery capacity and supports charging interoperability via industry standards.

TfL orders world-first hydrogen double-decker buses to help tackle London’s toxic air

Twenty British-built zero-emission hydrogen buses, from Wrightbus in Northern Ireland, will arrive next year.

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