With transit ridership levels up in Chicago and around the country, access to affordable public transit that’s clean, safe, reliable, and desirable is more important than ever. So today, I was happy to join U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, Congressman Bobby Rush, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in announcing a $20 million TIGER grant that will modernize the 95th Street Terminal on Chicago’s South Side.
The 95th Street Terminal is an aging but extremely busy transit facility that serves more than five million rail and bus passengers every year, many of whom do not own cars and depend entirely on transit to get around. It's the current terminus of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line trains and more than a dozen CTA bus lines.
Thanks to TIGER, the 43-year-old terminal will get a much-needed overhaul to improve accessibility for commuters, especially elderly riders and people with disabilities. Wider sidewalks, new bus platforms, and other improvements will make getting around the station easier and safer—and give the neighborhood a lift, too.
There’s no question that a grant like this is a big help to Chicago’s transit systems, which are among the oldest in the country.
But Chicago’s backlog is only a fraction of the state-of-good-repair challenges facing transit systems in cities across the nation.
With that in mind, SEPTA’s Wayne Junction substation was also selected to receive nearly $13 million in TIGER funding.
Farther west in Pennsylvania, TIGER funding will also help replace the obsolete East Busway bus station in Pittsburgh, the busiest station in the Port Authority of Allegheny County's transit system.
By addressing the state-of-good-repair backlog faced by transit systems in cities--like Chicago and Pittsburgh--across America, President Obama has been a real leader. This isn’t empty rhetoric. During the past three years, the Obama Administration has singled out state-of-good-repair for the highest percentage increases in each of our proposed transit budgets.
With transit ridership at its highest level in five years, it’s essential that we continue investing in the great transit infrastructure we’ve already built—to keep it reliable and desirable not only for today’s riders, but for the next generation.
The President’s TIGER program is a terrific start.