Thursday, April 10, 2014

Illinois’ new six-year transportation program includes $1.85 billion for public transit

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn unveiled a six-year, $8.6-billion construction program that he says will improve roads and bridges throughout Illinois while making major investments in public transportation.

 

The projects are part of Gov. Quinn's agenda to create jobs and build a 21st century infrastructure that will drive Illinois' economy forward. The new multi-year transportation program is designed to build upon the success of Gov. Quinn's $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which is the largest construction program in Illinois history.

"This comprehensive plan for our highways, public transit, rail and airport projects will make critical repairs and major improvements across Illinois," Gov. Quinn said. "A booming economy requires a 21st century infrastructure. Our infrastructure plan will create thousands of construction jobs now, while paving the way for more jobs and economic development in the future."

The fiscal years 2015-2020 highway improvement program will improve 1,845 miles of highway and replace or rehabilitate 384 bridges across Illinois. The improvement program also includes $1.85 billion for public transportation. Highlights include:

  • $60 million to re-establish passenger rail service, which includes a new station in South Elgin for the Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque Corridor in Cook, DuPage and Kane Counties
  • $585.1 million to purchase up to 160 Electric Highliner Metra Commuter Cars
  • $222 million to provide new intercity passenger rail service between Chicago and Moline for the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City Corridor in Cook and DuPage Counties
  • $132.6 million for the Englewood Flyover to reduce Amtrak, Metra and freight passenger rail congestion, this project is a key part of the CREATE Program

"We have made tremendous progress the past few years toward improving the state's transportation infrastructure," Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said. "However, with federal revenue sources dwindling and the end in sight for Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! program, I look forward to supporting the Governor's call for a bipartisan working group to find ways to continue this progress."

For fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1, 2014, the program has allocated $1.88 billion for road projects, $1.85 billion for public transportation, $2.7 million for rail and $161 million for airport improvements. For the six years of the plan, a total of $5.82 billion is targeted to state highway system improvements with $2.77 billion going toward local transportation needs.

The plan includes $6.99 billion in anticipated federal funds, $1.16 billion in state funds and the remaining $450 million from local and other sources. The $158 million remaining for road and bridge projects from Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program is also included in this multi-year program.

The governor is also asking the Illinois General Assembly to form a bipartisan working group to establish the next capital bill to ensure Illiniois roads, rail, transit and airports receive additional funding to ensure they are reliable and efficient for the future.

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