With $2 trillion up for grabs in President Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill, Chicago’s transportation leaders are making a case for urgent repair needs and forward-thinking programs — all requiring the type of major funding infusion only the federal government can supply.
If the trial is successful, CTA will order 17 more buses, bringing the transit agency “one step closer to its goal of having a 100% electric fleet by the year 2040,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter.
The Chicago Transit Authority’s Board of Directors approved the agency’s 2021 operating budget of $1.645 billion on Wednesday, but CTA staff warned of drastic service cuts without another infusion of cash from Congress.
Ridership across CTA trains and buses, Metra commuter trains and Pace buses are down about 70% compared to this time last year. With that dramatic decline in ridership comes lower revenue and strains on operational funding.
Keeping buses and trains running is costly, but public transit agencies in Chicago have yet to see money from the federal stimulus package that passed in late March.
The CTA, Metra and Pace might be running a little more efficiently going forward. After a 10-year drought, Chicago’s public transit system is set to receive billions in state capital funding.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants a hike in the state gas tax to fund transportation infrastructure. The area’s transit heads give us their reaction and an update on the status of the region’s public transportation.