Durbin, Emanuel Announces $38 Million Investment to Improve Transit In Chicago

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that several Illinois transit projects have been awarded a total of $38,000,000 in grants through the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT grants include funding to upgrade transit facilities, study new transit routes and replace aging buses and equipment with new fuel-efficient vehicles and cost-saving materials.


“Bringing new buses with more capacity and cleaner emissions to Chicago CTA routes, improves the quality of life for all residents – even those who don’t rely on public transportation,” Durbin said. “Investing in this infrastructure today will contribute to our long-term economic growth in the future.”


“Every day more than a million residents and tourist rely on our CTA system to get to work, school or recreation destinations throughout the city. This funding represents more than just an investment in our system, it is an investment in our city to improve the quality of this critical service we provide,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.


“We are grateful to President Obama, Secretary LaHood and Senator Durbin for securing this grant money so we can make these improvements that will ultimately allow us to provide better services and experiences for our customers,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.


The following investments in Illinois’ transit infrastructure were made under this announcement:


  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago: $30,000,000 in funding for the purchase of bus hoists for maintenance and sixty-foot hybrid diesel-electric public transit buses to replace a like amount of forty-foot conventional diesel powered buses that are beyond their useful lives.  Hybrid diesel-electric buses achieve at least 20 percent greater fuel efficiency than standard diesel buses, which save fuel dollars while promoting cleaner air.  Each sixty-foot bus replaces an average of 78 passenger cars, helping to ease traffic congestion in neighborhoods served by the CTA.  This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 State of Good Repair Program.  


  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago: $6,000,000 in funding to make accessibility improvements at the Wilson Red Line Station which is served by four bus routes that together provide direct service to 55,275 people.  The project includes a new elevator control room and rail maintenance room, a new elevator inside the main station house at street level, as well as street modifications, exterior rehabilitation and improvements to the bus stops providing intermodal connections to the station. This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 Bus Livability Program.  


  • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago: $2,000,000 in funding to conduct a study along the Chicago Lakefront Corridor to determine the feasibility and appropriate level of investment for high capacity transit connections in the 24-mile corridor from Howard Street to 103rd Street. The route is currently served by 18 CTA bus routes carrying 109,000 weekday passengers on congested roadways.  Along with a need to address congestion in the corridor communities in the study area need rapid and reliable transit service to provide convenient access to Central Business District as well as job centers outside of the central area.  This project was selected on a competitive basis through the 2011 Alternatives Analysis Program.