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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2000

Governor Announces Release Of $5 Million In Illinois FIRST Funds For The Purchase Of 147 Transit Buses In Suburban Chicago

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the released of $5 million in state resources, including $3.5 million in Illinois FIRST funds, toward the purchase of 68 new buses, 79 new paratransit vehicles and other equipment for Pace, the suburban Chicago bus division of the Regional Transportation Authority.

"The new vehicles will enable Pace to reduce maintenance costs, avoid downtime due to costly repairs and provide more efficient, reliable service," Ryan said. "The latter is key to persuading more commuters to take buses and leave their cars at home, which will help reduce highway congestion. The new replacement vehicles also will help preserve air quality."

The Illinois FIRST funds will purchase 40-foot replacement buses. The other state funds will purchase the paratransit vehicles, which are smaller buses or vans used to provide special service for the elderly and persons with disabilities. A portion of the other state funds also will be used to buy maintenance equipment, support vehicles and computer equipment to improve operations.

The Illinois FIRST and state general revenue funds match $19.7 million in federal transit funds for a total investment of $24.7 million.

All vehicles will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


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