Each day, many residents of Illinois depend on safe, reliable trains and buses to get where they need to go. In the RTA region alone, in Northeastern Illinois, CTA, Metra and Pace provide more than two million rides each weekday, saving riders time and money, reducing automobile traffic, and fueling our regional and state economy.
The RTA transit system has $30 billion of unmet high-priority projects, and Illinois’ Downstate transit agencies have more than $1.5 billion in reinvestment needs. The RTA’s Regional Transit Strategic Plan, Invest in Transit, sets clear priorities for public transportation across Chicago and northeastern Illinois, calling for $2 to $3 billion a year of investments over the next decade. Inadequate funding has resulted in aging transit infrastructure meaning service is slower, more crowded, and prone to breakdowns, all of which affect riders and the economy alike.
But things are changing.
2019 has become a landmark year for transit. When Rebuild Illinois became law in June, 2019, our state ended a decade without a capital bill and ushered in the largest infrastructure program in its history. It will have transformative effects on our regional transit system. The bill provides $2.7 billion in bonding authority for transit infrastructure and annual, sustainable state revenue for capital investments in public transportation. Transit will also receive $227 million annually in Motor Fuel Tax revenues, commonly referred to as pay-go funds.
With that, we would like to thank everyone who supported our recent Get On Board Illinois campaign. Get On Board Illinois asked stakeholders and riders from around the state to raise their voices and tell elected officials to support public transportation. Together, our voices were heard.