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Transit Funding

The RTA plays a vital role in financing the region’s public transit system. The agency is responsible for overseeing the operating budgets and capital programs of the region’s three transit operators: CTA, Metra, and Pace, often referred to as the Service Boards.

How transit is funded, and how the funding is spent, are both complex processes that the RTA is committed to ensuring with as much transparency and accountability as possible.

View the latest data on the RTA's Finance Dashboard.

Money for public transit is typically divided into Operating and Capital

What is operating funding?
What is capital funding?
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Our Role in Financing the Transit System

The RTA led the region's transit system through the COVID-19 pandemic by allocating funds from three major federal relief packages to allow transit operations to continue, analyzing data, communicating transparently about the state of the crisis, and taking action to secure sustainable funding for transit. Federal relief dollars distributed by the RTA earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to support transit operations for the upcoming budget year, making up about 20% of the budget. A gap of that size, projected to become an issue for the first time in 2026, would be devastating to our regional transit system and the riders it serves. The RTA's Transit is the Answer Coalition and the 2024 Legislative Agenda will continue to work to address this gap and address the structural problem resulting from years of overreliance on fare revenue for transit.

Read more in the 2024 Regional Operating Budget and Capital Program.

View the budget
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