Durbin, Budzinski, Secretary Buttigieg Visit Metrolink Rail Facility to Highlight $196 Million In Federal Funding From FTA's Rail Vehicle Replacement Program

EAST ST. LOUIS – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Representative Nikki Budzinski (D-IL-13), and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg today visited one of MetroLink’s rail facilities, the transit system serving St. Louis and Metro East, to highlight the $196 million in federal funding they recently received through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Rail Vehicle Replacement (RVR) Program to replace up to 48 of the system’s aging train cars.

“With the historic funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we secured $196 million for Metrolink, enabling them to replace 48 aging rail cars,” said Durbin. “This investment will positively impact the lives of over six million passengers annually, providing safer and more efficient transportation. I’ll keep working with my colleagues to bring home federal funding that improves transit systems and bolsters infrastructure resiliency for our communities’ well-being.”

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law isn’t just rebuilding our roads and bridges, it’s helping communities recover from disasters and investing in the future of our economy and our environment,” said Budzinski.“Today, I joined Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Cori Bush to announce nearly $28 million to help MetroLink recover from the devastating flooding our region experienced last year. This is on top of $196 million secured for new railcars on this vital transit system.  Together, these funds will help pave the way for faster, safer, more efficient travel for passengers while promoting resiliency in the face of future extreme weather.”

“Now, you will have newer, safer, faster trains to get you around the community for many years to come,”said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “As East St. Louis, and communities all around this region and this country are continuing to rebuild and recover, we want you to know that we are with you every step of the way.”

“Modernizing our nation’s rail is key to helping riders safely and efficiently move throughout their communities,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to have joined Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Budzinski in announcing substantial funding for Bi-State Development earlier this year, and I look forward to seeing how new rail cars in the Metro East will help improve transit and bolster the region’s economy.”

This federal funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Durbin, Duckworth, and Budzinski supported. In July 2022, severe flooding in the St. Louis damaged the MetroLink public transit system. Durbin worked with U.S. Representative Cori Bush (D-MO-01) to secure FTA emergency relief in the FY23 Omnibus that passed in December. Today, Secretary Buttigieg announced that the FTA awarded $28 million to MetroLink, from that law, for its recovery efforts.