The 2020 regional capital program funding is $3.112 billion with a five-year program totaling $8.369 billion, a major portion of which consists of funding from the Rebuild Illinois capital bill that became law in June 2019.
Rebuild Illinois provides our regional transit system with $2.6 billion over five years in new bonding authority and an estimated $227 million annually ($1.135 billion over five years) in sustainable revenue, referred to as “PAYGO” funding.
State funds — including Rebuild Illinois Bonds and PAYGO funds — represent 56% of the 2020 capital budget. Another 22% of the 2020 program is funded by federal dollars, including federal formula and federal discretionary funds. CTA Bond funding makes up another 21%. Specifically, CTA bond funding consists of newly issued bonds and reprogrammed Ground Transportation Tax Bonds associated with the Red-Purple Modernization project. The remaining funding (<1%) includes additional Service Board and local funds and RTA Innovation, Coordination, and Enhancement (ICE) funds.
Even at $8.4 billion for 2020‐2024, this falls well short of the region’s projected $30 billion in transit capital needs over the next decade. However, Rebuild Illinois funds help the capital program get closer to the required annual investment, with an average of $1.674 billion in funding per year.
When programming the new state funds, RTA worked with the Service Boards to determine principles that would be used to lead the prioritization and programming of the infusion of capital from the State of Illinois. Those principles are as follows:
· Begin decreasing the region‐wide backlog of deferred projects.
· Focus spending on projects that can be completed in a timely manner.
· Provide near-term programming and planning certainty.
· Allow for long-term adaptability and transparency of future transportation priorities.
· Continue conducting transparent, data‐driven project selection through our annual budgeting process.
As in previous years, the primary emphasis of the 2020-2024 capital program is to continue bringing the system’s transit assets toward a state of good repair, and to increase capacities in markets with growing ridership.