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March 31, 2016

US DOT grants $255m TIFIA loan to Chicago Transit Authority for new railcars

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has provided a $255m loan to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to buy new railcars in order to improve transit service in Chicago.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has provided a $255m loan to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to buy new railcars in order to improve transit service in Chicago.

The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan will help to modernise one of the oldest and busiest transit systems in the country.

US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said: "This funding will bring state-of-the-art railcars to serve Chicago’s communities, helping to expand economic opportunity and socioeconomic mobility throughout the Chicago area."

The loan will be used to buy 490 railcars, which will help meet growing ridership demand and improve security with up-to-date technology.

The technologically advanced vehicles, which will replace nearly one third of the ageing railcars in CTA’s entire fleet, will help to reduce energy and maintenance costs.

"This funding will bring state-of-the-art railcars to serve Chicago’s communities, helping to expand economic opportunity and socioeconomic mobility throughout the Chicago area."

According to CTA, modernising its rail fleet will also improve the reliability of the transit service and give passengers a smoother, more comfortable ride.

US Federal Transit Administration acting administrator Therese McMillan said: "We are proud to partner with CTA to improve transit service for residents and visitors in this vibrant city.

"These modern, technologically advanced railcars will make a huge difference for thousands of riders who need and deserve reliable transit options as they take advantage of all Chicago has to offer."

The DOT provided CTA with $199m in TIFIA loans for a track upgrade project and a bus and rail terminal rehabilitation.

The TIFIA programme seeks to advance critical transportation infrastructure nationwide by using federal, state, local, and private sector funding sources.

Under this programme, DOT offers secured direct loans, lines of credit and loan guarantees to public and private applicants for eligible surface transportation projects.

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