Congress last week gave public transit systems an early Christmas gift with the passage of a multiyear surface transportation authorization bill, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or the FAST Act.
About $61 billion of the total $305 billion act will fund public transit improvements for the next five years. Included in that is about $2.7 billion in funding for older transit systems such as the CTA for state of good repair projects, such as slow zone work.
The Tribune reports that “CMAP estimates that under the bill, Illinois will receive an 11 percent boost in federal funding for transit, to $600 million per year from $540 million in fiscal year 2015.” The RTA
This new money will help the CTA and other transit agencies increase their capital improvement budgets over the next five years. Here’s a statement from the RTA’s Executive Director Leanne Redden:
It is estimated that the increased levels of funding in this bill could translate to more than $250 million in additional formula funding over a five year period for our region, As the RTA Board prepares to consider the regional transit budget for 2016 next week, which includes a an estimated $872 million in capital funding in 2016, this long-term, consistent funding is a real bright spot for our region given the level of uncertainty associated with the budget impasse occurring at the state level.
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