Pleasant surprise: State funds $496 million in CTA capital projects this year
Press conferences called for Friday and Saturday generally are used to bury bad news. But this past weekend transit users across the Chicago area got great news: the state Legislature passed a $900 million capital spending bill for mass transit this year. Almost half a billion dollars will fund CTA projects.
Before the Legislature left for its spring break, it approved the first part -- for 2009 -- of what we hope is a larger capital spending budget. The dollars come from the state road fund.
A spokesperson said the CTA will use about $496 million in state funding for the following projects:
- Purchase of new hybrid buses -- $172.8 million.
- Mid-life overhaul of existing buses -- $86.8 million.
- Bus garage rehabs -- $27.5 million.
- Rehabilitate rail stations -- $22.5 million.
- Red Line substations -- $48 million.
- Brown Line substations -- $25.5 million.
- Red Line track replacement -- $113 million.
Metra will use about $291 million for new rail cars. Pace will spend about $68 million only new vans, buses and other items. And $45 was put aside for paratransit.