Independent Report Outlines Scenarios for Chicago RTA Transit Funding
October 17, 2013
Delcan Corporation, in partnership with The Eno Center for Transportation and TranSmart, today released Determining the Equitable Allocation of Public Funding for a Regional Transportation System. This independent report assesses transit funding practices in Northeastern Illinois and outlines possible alternative ways to allocate available transit funds among the region’s three Service Boards: the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace. The report analyzes the allocation of regional sales taxes used to support operating costs and capital funds including federal grants and state and regional bonds.
Already the third largest transit market in the United States, the Northeastern Illinois region has relied on fixed allocation formulas, some of which have been in place for 30 years despite changes in population, jobs, and the demand for transit service within the region.
The five-month study was conducted as an independent effort with input from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the region’s three Service Boards plus other regional stakeholders.
In addition to meetings with stakeholders including each of the Service Boards, Delcan reviewed regional economic trends and analyzed the historical allocation of funds among the Service Boards. In addition, a peer analysis was conducted to understand how other metropolitan regions address the challenge of funding allocation. Five regional case studies were prepared covering New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle. These studies looked not only at funding allocation methodologies, but also institutional structures and sources of revenue and their related allocation restrictions.
Major conclusions include:
The report presents eight allocation scenarios (with the pros and cons of each).
The eight scenarios presented for the region’s consideration and action are:
Overall, the report advocates for change in order to tackle the tough challenges facing Northeastern Illinois. The report favors Scenario 5 (performance-based allocation); Scenario 4 (based on competitive grants) or a combination of these two scenarios. Other than the first three scenarios, each scenario needs a change in governance structure in order to be effective. An integrated structure that builds on experience in New York or Philadelphia appears most attractive.
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 email@example.com.