Report: Illinois governor's infrastructure plan to include $2.9 billion for Metra parent

Massive six-year plan would also include funds for Amtrak service to Quad Cities
RELATED TOPICS: TRANSIT | COMMUTER RAILROADS | METRA | CHICAGO
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CHICAGO — Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority would receive almost $2.9 billion in funding under an infrastructure plan set to be unveiled by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Those funds would be part of a total of $41.5 billion in a six-year plan to be introduced by Pritzker and paid for in part through a series of tax increases and new taxes. It also counts on more than $10 billion in federal funding and $6.6 billion from local governments and private sources, the Tribune reports.

The RTA is the parent agency for Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority, and the Pace bus system. Metra’s board of directors has been vocal about the need for increased state funding. [See “Metra directors: ‘Dire’ funding crisis may prompt service cuts,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 11, 2019.]

The proposal also includes $225 million to help restore Amtrak service between Chicago and the Quad Cities of Rock Island, Moline, and East Moline, Ill., and Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa. Some $23 billion of the bill would go for highway projects.

Republican legislators are already indicating opposition to the taxes proposed in the plan. They include a doubling of the state gas tax to 38 cents per gallon, increased vehicle registration fees, and new taxes on ride sharing and garage parking.

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