Rep. Lipinski Helps Lead Push on Funding for Public Transportation (April 9, 2015)

At Union Station in Chicago today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) joined representatives from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, Pace, Amtrak, and other members of the Illinois congressional delegation to push Congress to pass a long-term bill to fund local and national transportation needs, especially public transportation.  The event is one of many “Stand Up 4 Transportation” activities taking place across the country today.

“Simply put, we cannot continue to kick the can down the road on a highway and transit funding bill,” stated Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3).  “As the most senior member from Illinois on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and representing a district that is crisscrossed by every mode of private and public transit, I understand the need to pass a comprehensive long-term bill instead of searching under the federal couch cushions for money every few months to avoid a funding crisis.  In the last six years, there have been eleven short-term extensions.  As founding co-chair of the Congressional Public Transit Caucus, I know what a disaster this has been, especially for transit.  We need a fix, not a band-aid.” 

Transit is important to all Chicago area residents.  In the region, public transit provides nearly two million rides per day.  Recently, Congressman Lipinski worked with Congressman Reid Ribble from Wisconsin to get a bipartisan group of almost 300 members of Congress to come together to call for House Leadership to pass a responsibly paid-for, multi-year highway and transit bill. 

“Transit in Chicago is about getting people to and from school, work, the doctor, the store, sporting events, church, and countless other daily activities in an affordable, safe, and timely manner,” Rep. Lipinski said.  “Advancing transit is not just good for the region, it’s good for the whole country.  It's time for everyone to roll up their sleeves and get to work on a robust bill that provides the level of funding we know our area and our nation need.”

Nearly $34 billion is needed to replace, rehabilitate, and maintain bus and train service in the Chicagoland region.  But federal spending on transportation infrastructure has been stagnant and often unpredictable for the past decade.

“The only way to fix our transportation system is by passing a long-term, robust funding bill,” said Congressman Lipinski.  “This will give certainty to transportation planners, especially transit agencies, so that they can make the investments that are needed to move people safely and efficiently every day.”