Chicago Transit Authority Receives $1B Grant Award

January 11, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

l-train-1462508Talk about the federal government putting a lot of eggs in one basket. The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) this week provided about $1.07 billion in federal grant funds to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) for the first phase of its Red and Purple Modernization Project. The project will reconstruct a section of the rail lines on the north side of Chicago to expand capacity on one of CTA’s busiest corridors.

The DOT funding is about half of the $2.067 billion total project. These funds include a core capacity construction grant agreement for $956.61 million through FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program, and some $116 million through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program. Capital Investment funds will be provided over nine years on an annual payment schedule, subject to congressional approval during the annual appropriations process.

The project involves construction of track improvements north of the Belmont Station to relieve a bottleneck at the junction of the Red, Purple and Brown lines; reconstruction and expansion of four stations to better accommodate current and projected demand; upgrades to the power, track and signal systems; and the purchase of 32 new railcars. “FTA is awarding highly competitive grant funds for this project because there is a clear need for transit improvements in this busy, crowded corridor,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. “When completed, this project will make a big difference for CTA riders with increased service, less crowding aboard trains and better waiting conditions at larger reconstructed stations.”

Projects accepted under the Capital Investment Grant program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to receive program funds. Hopefully, this award will eventually make commuting in Chicago less painful.

Let us know how you feel about the award to CTA. We’d love to hear from you, especially those in Chicago.

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