The re-election of President Obama to another four-year term should make transit planners nationwide very happy.
And certainly the folks at the CTA may be among the happiest.
The president has said a number of times that he wants the federal government to invest key infrastructure projects, and mass transit is included.
In Chicago, the CTA has a number of high-priced projects queued up for federal dollars. The Red Line extension to 13oth Street is the highest profile such project, and the furthest down the planning pipeline. Other projects vying for Federal Transit Administration funding include the Western and Ashland Cooridors Bus Rapid Transit, and the Red and Purple Modernization.
The Red Line extension also has a very high profile supporter — Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Of course, the mayor is Obama’s former chief of staff, a huge fund-raiser for him in this election, and an effective campaigner down to the last weekend before Tuesday’s election.
Add all these variables together and there should be big smiles down at CTA headquarters at 567 W. Lake St. this week.
Of course, there’s no guarantee these projects will all be funded, but the likelihood is exponentially stronger with Obama sitting in the Oval Office as opposed to Mitt Romney.