Durbin: $35 Million Will Help Reduce Congestion, Expand Access and Promote Economic Development in Chicago

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) commended the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s decision to award a total of $35,650,000 in funding to Chicago transportation agencies for two transit projects that will help reduce congestion, expand access to public transportation and encourage economic development.  The funding was part of a nationwide announcement of nearly $300 million in federal funding through the Obama Administration’s Livability Initiative.

“Many bus riders are frustrated by the service along certain corridors due to congestion during peak periods of travel,” said Durbin.  “The projects receiving funding today will decrease travel times, improve reliability and expand available connections with other bus and rail routes in order to reduce congestion and make mass transit a more attractive option for the hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans along the affected routes.”

The Livability Initiative is a joint venture of the DOT, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency to provide citizens with access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs, while protecting the environment in communities nationwide.  With today’s grants, the DOT aims to promote urban circulator projects such as streetcars, buses, and bus facilities to support communities, expand business opportunities and improve people’s quality of life while also creating jobs.

The following projects will receive funding under today’s announcement:


  • East-West Transit Corridor: $24,650,000 in funding to the Chicago Department of Transportation to establish designated bus priority lanes on two miles of downtown surface streets to be used by seven Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus routes and served by 1,700 buses per day – one of the busiest routes in the nation. The project will connect Union Station through several districts in the downtown Loop to the Navy Pier and expedite bus services through the downtown while serving a community not currently served by transit.  Bus signal priority, ‘next bus’ information, bus shelter branding, improvements for pedestrians, bicycle lanes, bus lanes and streetscape enhancements are also expected to be provided as part of the project.
  • Jeffery Bus Rapid Transit Corridor: $11,000,000 in funding to the CTA to provide a high-quality transit link to the central business district on a corridor that lacks easy rail access.  The bus rapid transit project will run along 103rd Street and Stony Island to Jefferson and Washington Streets.  More than 200,000 people live and nearly 600,000 jobs are located within a half mile of this corridor.