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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 in 2020 and 2021, analyzing data, communicating transparently about the state of the crisis, and taking action to address the immediate needs of the Service Boards. The agency is also leading a collaborative strategic planning process to plan for the future of transit, including a 10-Year Financial Plan. 

Read more in the 2023 Regional Operating Budget and Capital Program.

View the budget
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