RTA Responds to U.S. House Transportation Proposal that would Cut Millions in Funding
July 8, 2011
Statement from John S. Gates, Jr., RTA Board Chairman:
On behalf of the nearly 2 million people who ride our system every weekday, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is deeply concerned about the steep cut in transit investment proposed by the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The proposal would cut transit funding by more than 30-percent. The result in our region would be a cut of approximately $126 million from fiscal year 2011 funding levels. A cut of this magnitude would have a devastating impact on our capital program and, if enacted into law, would severely slow our progress towards state of good repair on our transit network.
While the funding included in the bill is woefully inadequate, it does present a vision for the surface transportation program that includes proposals to significantly enhance the potential to put public/private partnerships to work on our system, expand innovative financing programs, including authorizing the creation of state infrastructure banks, and streamlines the project delivery process. Those are positive elements of the bill and should be the basis for further discussion as the legislative process continues.
This announcement represents the first part of a multi-stage process. We look forward to working with congressional leaders and our own Illinois Congressional Delegation to improve upon this proposal in the weeks ahead.