Congress Takes Critical Step in Supporting Transit With Final Federal Transportation Bill Language

Chicago (June 28, 2012) – The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) released the following statement in response to final language released by the U.S. House and Senate conference committee on H.R.4348 (MAP-21) – legislation federally funding surface transportation programs.

“More Americans rely on public transit now than ever before and the final version of MAP-21 – legislation investing in America’s transportation system – is a critical first step in supporting Chicagoland’s transit system, economic vitality, and livability,” said Joseph Costello, Regional Transit Authority Executive Director.  “The bill makes needed transit investments by:

  • Increasing transit funding levels from $8.36 B in FY2012 to $8.47 B in FY 2013 and, $8.595 B in FY 2014;
  • Providing state of good repair formula grants to upgrade and repair transit systems at $2.136 B in FY 2013, $2.165 B in FY 2014; and
  • Ensuring steady support and certainty for transit riders by continuing to fund projects from the Highway Trust Fund.”

“The bill fails to address one key issue, restoration of the $240 per month commuter transit and parking tax benefit. Given these difficult economic times, cutting this benefit by 50% only puts increased pressure on American families and workers,” said Joseph Costello.

About the RTA

The RTA provides financial oversight, funding and regional planning for the three public transit operations in Northeastern Illinois: The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and train, Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban bus and paratransit. For more information, visit www.RTAchicago.com.