SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced this afternoon the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace accepted a $27 million direct grant to maintain operations until the end of the year. The short-term financial assistance package will ensure that transit riders in the Chicago area will be able to continue relying on the service they need while lawmakers work to pass a plan that provides long-term funding for mass transit as well as funding for infrastructure projects statewide.
“Now that the CTA and Pace accepted the $27 million in short-term assistance I authorized today, transit riders in the Chicago area will be able to continue relying on the service they need while we continue our negotiations on a plan that will ultimately result in stronger and safer roads, bridges, schools and mass transit systems across Illinois,” said Governor Blagojevich. “There is general consensus that a mass transit plan for the Chicagoland region should be passed in conjunction with a capital plan that would meet infrastructure needs across the state. The leaders believe that this can be completed in the near future.”
The $27 million grant will come from state transportation capital funds. $21 million will be directed to the CTA and $6 million to Pace. The additional state capital funds will free up allocated federal capital money that can then be used for operational needs related to preventative maintenance and para-transit. The transit agencies have used federal capital funds for preventative maintenance and para-transit operations in the past. By replacing the converted federal capital money with State capital money, there will be no loss to either CTA or Pace’s capital plan.