Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CTA And METRA Reject RTA’s Joint Bond Issue Proposal

                      CTA President Forrest Claypool promptly expressed opposition to a proposal by RTA Chairman John Gates, Jr. to have RTA take over the power to issue up to $5 billion in government bonds for funding new facility construction by CTA, METRA and Pace, replacing the borrowing now done by those individual agencies. RTA’s current borrowing limit is a mere $800 million. According to CTA spokesman Brian Steele, “This idea is simply the latest in a series of attempted power grabs that would hurt service, make it harder to invest in the system, and make the RTA answerable to no one.”
                    Ongoing METRA scandals and rising interest rates on the CTA’s sales tax backed construction bond issues have prompted Gates repeatedly to recommend legislative initiatives for consolidation of regional public transit authority planning, borrowing and spending power in RTA, as opposed to the four separate public transit agencies now operating in northeastern Illinois. Meanwhile, while Republican and Democratic politicians contend bitterly over control of the planning and funding of public transit in the region, efforts to establish commuter rail service between Huntley and Chicago for the safety and convenience of local residents, and to ease traffic congestion on I-90 between Huntley and the Loop, languish in the earliest planning stages.
blog comments powered by Disqus