CTA to get up to $120 million in federal funds for Red-Purple modernization

As the only transit system currently accepted into the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Core Capacity Program, the CTA is poised to receive up to $120 million allocated to the program this year in the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. It was passed last week by both chambers of Congress and is on President Obama’s desk for his expected signature.

The bill provides $120 million to the competitive grant fund Sen. Richard Durbin created in 2012 as a member of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) Conference Committee, said the CTA in a news release.  His goal was to level the playing field by allowing existing mass transit lines (or “core capacity” projects), like the CTA’s Red and Purple Lines, to compete for FTA funding under the “New Starts” grant program. Previously, only extensions or new transit lines could compete for the funding, making the vast majority of CTA projects ineligible.

CTA became the first transit system accepted into the FTA’s new Core Capacity Program in November 2013 and has begun moving forward on the environmental work necessary for design and construction of the planned rebuilding of the Red and Purple Lines.  

As the only Illinois member of the House Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley used his position during the 2014 appropriations process to advocate for the Core Capacity grants. “Core capacity grants fund desperately needed improvements to heavily-used transit systems like the CTA, creating jobs and improving our infrastructure in the process,” said Rep. Quigley.

Great tag-teaming here by Durbin and Quigley to secure this funding to move forward the Red and Purple Modernization Project.

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  • And exactly how much of this $120 million will go down the sewer better known as the consultants pockets?

  • The headline is deceptive. Poised to get up to $120 million does not mean to get, especially since the press release said it was competitive.

    Also, even if one assumed that no other city would compete, that might pay for a Bryn Mawr station, not the $1 billion they say actually is needed to do RPM. Once it is passed, you can rest assured that FTA will solicit applicants.

    Also, this is the first time anything has been indicated that Quigley did something for his district.

    But, Scooter, the consultant cesspool is already funded.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, there's never enough money for consultants!
    Those pigs empty the trough faster than that skinny guy can shove a few dozen hot dogs down his throat!

  • It doesn't pay for the whole thing, but it's a start.

  • In reply to chris:

    If it pays for anything and doesn't go to Houston.

  • In reply to jack:

    True, but it seems like we got a good shot. I've been in Houston and never saw a mass transit system. Just highway lanes as far as they eye can see. So, if we get beat by them somehow that would be depressing.

  • 4th paragraph typo alert: 2014 sppropriations

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Thanks Cheryl! Fixed.

  • Here, in Vancouver, BC, it was announced that Cubic's complete roll-out for the Smartcard system (The Compass Card) was pushed
    back to the Fall of 2014 (from Spring 2014).
    P.S. I enjoy reading the CTA Tattler.

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