The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) released the following statement in response to final language agreed to yesterday 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, which is key to the region’s economic vitality and livability,” said Joseph Costello, Regional Transportation 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 replace and repair aging transit systems like that in the Chicago region at $2.136 B in FY 2013 and $2.165 B in FY 2014; and
  • Ensuring steady financial support and certainty for transit riders and construction jobs by continuing to fund transit projects from the Highway Trust Fund.”

“Unfortunately, the bill fails to address one key issue, restoration of the $240 per month commuter transit tax benefit, which was reduced to $125 per month in January. Given these difficult economic times, cutting this benefit by nearly 50% only puts increased pressure on American families and workers,” said Costello.

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With three transit systems and more than two million riders a day, there is always something interesting going on at the RTA. Get the latest scoop on everything all in one place. For all media inquiries, please contact Susan Massel, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, at 312-913-3256 or at communications@rtachicago.org.