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February 10, 2016

US CTA to get $281m in federal funding for Red-Purple modernisation programme

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in the US is set to benefit from $281m in federal government funding for its Red and Purple Modernisation Programme (RPM).

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in the US is set to benefit from $281m in federal government funding for its Red and Purple Modernisation Programme (RPM).

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has allocated $156m in new funding provided by Congress, which had been budgeted for in previous years but never appropriated.

The CTA will receive the amount from USDOT if it gets a full-funding agreement approved by the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

"Chicago’s future depends on our ability to continue modernising and improving a 21st century transportation system that keeps up with our growing economy and creates local jobs."

President Barack Obama has also proposed a federal fiscal budget for next year, which included $125m in funding for RPM Phase 1.

The two combined funding sources represent nearly 30% of the federal funding envisioned for this transformational project and would come from FTA’s core capacity programme.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said: "Chicago’s future depends on our ability to continue modernising and improving a 21st century transportation system that keeps up with our growing economy and creates local jobs."

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In 2014, CTA secured $35m in federal core capacity funding after it became the first transit system accepted into the new core capacity programme in 2013. The funds allowed the CTA to complete the environmental planning and preliminary engineering work in 2015 for the first phase of the RPM project.

US Senator Dick Durbin said: " Robust federal funding for this programme will help the CTA double the capacity of its most used rail lines. The federal investments we are making today put us in the best position to provide world-class mass transit services in the future."

Under RPM Phase 1, work will include replacing old infrastructure and stations along Chicago’s busiest rail line with modern tracks, signals and stations that are fully accessible.

RPM Phase 1 is the first of multiple phases of the RPM Programme, which will add much needed capacity to a growing residential and commercial corridor, and deliver faster and smoother rides with less crowding and more frequent service.

The first phase of the project includes four station reconstructions at Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr.

Work will also include reconstruction of track structure and viaducts, as well as the construction of a rail bypass north of Belmont station to increase rail capacity and alleviate train congestion.

As part of the RPM project, the CTA will now finalise the funding plan for phase one, which will involve a mix of federal and local funding sources, applying for federal project funding, as well as selecting a contractor to design and build the project.

RPM Phase 1 is estimated to cost $2.13bn and construction schedules will be developed when project funding is secured and a contractor is hired.

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