Chicagoland Business Leaders Call For Increased Transit Investment

Chicago, IL (9/27/12) – Members of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce (CCOC) met with Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Executive Director Joseph Costello to discuss the crucial need for increased capital investment in the region’s bus and rail systems. Existing federal funding is not sufficient to maintain and replace Chicagoland’s aging trains, buses, bridges and stations, which will lead to more delays and congestion and result in less productivity for Chicagoland businesses.

“As vehicles get older, transit becomes less reliable,” said Costello. “We need more capital funding from Congress to bring transit in Chicagoland and nationwide into a state of good repair.”

“If we do not continue to invest in our bus and rail systems, it will put more cars back on the roads, which means more gridlock and longer travel times,” said Jerry Roper, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “It is vital that our employees and customers can reach our businesses reliably and safely.”

Costello also touched on the economic benefits of a capital investment in transit. “Every dollar spent on transit generates an economic return of four to one, providing jobs and improving transit performance,” he said. “Keeping our vehicles up-to-date would also allow us to continue exploring innovation, like additional bus rapid transit.”

“We must increase capital funding to continue to provide the fast, frequent and reliable commutes that our employees need. We need to retain Chicago’s status as the nation’s transportation hub for rail, highways and aviation,” said Brian McPartlin, Chairman of the CCOC Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Senior Vice President of Globetrotter Engineering Corporation.

Getting America to Work (GATW) is a broad coalition of commuters, business groups, officials and transportation agencies that support vital investments in public transit. For more information, visit www.GettingAmericaToWork.org.