Lipinski Pushes for Federal Support for Chicagoland Public Transit

Helps Transportation Committee Pass Bill Providing $100 million to Illinois to Reduce Fares and Cut Emissions

Today, during a mark-up in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) helped pass H.R. 6052, the Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act of 2008.  This bill will promote public savings through increased public transportation in the United States by authorizing $1.7 billion in funding over two years for transit agencies nationwide that are temporarily reducing transit fares or expanding transit services to meet the needs of the growing number of transit commuters.  This bill would authorize $100 million in funds for Illinois, including nearly $45 million for northeast Illinois/northwest Indiana.

"Having grown up riding the CTA and Metra, I know how important public transportation is to Chicagoland residents," said Rep. Lipinski.  "And at a time when high gas prices are increasingly affecting the budgets of middle class families, it is important for the federal government to help ensure affordable and comprehensive public transportation is an available alternative.  This legislation does just that by authorizing assistance to local transit agencies, including nearly $45 million for our region in each of the next two years."

In addition to assisting local transit agencies reduce fares or expand service, this bill also increases the federal share for clean fuel and alternative fuel transit bus, ferry, or locomotive-related equipment or facilities, thereby assisting transit agencies in reducing emissions.  With each motorist that switches to public transit already reducing carbon emissions by twenty pounds per day, these investments in environmentally friendly fuels promise to further improve air quality and cut carbon emissions.

"By reducing carbon emissions, road congestion, and public transit costs, this legislation represents a win-win-win for Chicago area residents," said Rep. Lipinski.  "I am proud to have helped pass this legislation through the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure."

Today's legislation builds on Rep. Lipinski's strong history of supporting public transit in Chicagoland.  Last year, Congressman Lipinski secured $500,000 in federal funds to assist in extending the CTA's Orange Line from its current terminus at Midway Airport to Ford City Mall.  The extension would feature a new station with intermodal connections to nearby neighborhoods and southwest suburban communities.  And Congressman Lipinski has secured over $100 million for the CREATE program, which will reduce area rail congestion, idling trains, and blocked crossings, and improve Metra Service.

(May 15, 2008)


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