Durbin Meets With Illinois Public Transportation Officials

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Illinois public transportation officials from the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Metra, and PACE to discuss transportation priorities in Illinois. The group discussed Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation and the importance of providing federal funding to improve surface transportation.

“Investing in Illinois’ public transportation infrastructure helps create jobs and improves the safety and efficiency of travel for Illinoisans. I’ll continue to work with my colleagues to find ways the federal government can move critical infrastructure projects forward, such as implementing PTC on Illinois’ trains,” Durbin said.

In August, Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced more than $17 million in U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funding for Metra to conduct rail improvements.  The funding supports the construction of a new grade-separated double-tracked rail bridge over Milwaukee Avenue immediately north of the Grayland Metra Station in Chicago.  In November, Durbin and Duckworth also announced $25 million for public transportation improvements in Illinois, including more than $17 million for the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District to expand its Illinois Terminal and $500,000 for the Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System to implement its Better Bus Stop Campaign to improve accessibility.

In October, Durbin supported an amendment to the Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2020 that blocked a 12 percent scheduled rescission of federal mass transit funding, which would have resulted in a $75 million reduction in federal transit funding for Illinois.  The amendment passed by a vote of 82-11 and was included in the bill, which became law in November.

In 2012, as a member of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) Conference Committee, Durbin helped create DOT’s Core Capacity grant program for existing mass transit systems. In November 2013, the Chicago Transit Agency (CTA) became the first transit system accepted into the program for its ongoing Red and Purple Modernization Project, for which Durbin helped secure more than $1 billion in federal funds.

A photo of today’s meeting is available here.