U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood swung through Chicago this afternoon as part of a national tour to publicize federal stimulus funding for transportation projects. Joining Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel for a press conference outside at the CTA’s Logan Square stop in frigid, blustery weather, LaHood heralded a $20 million TIGER III (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant for Chicago.
According to the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), $16 million will go towards fixing slow zones on the Blue Line between Belmont and Damen, in combination with money for the project from a CTA operating surplus. This work will allow trains to travel more than twice as fast in some locations, cutting the travel time from the Loop to O’Hare by several minutes.
The remaining $4 million of the grant will go towards Chicago’s new bike sharing system, slated to launch next summer. Added to the project’s existing $18 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funding that will pay for the first 3,000 bikes and 300 docking stations, the TIGER money will allow the city to eventually add 1,000 additional bikes and 100 more stations.
Chicago originally applied for a total of $50 million in TIGER III funds, $40 million for the Blue Line and $10 million for the bike share system, according to CDOT. Here’s a transcript of LaHood’s remarks at the press conference.
Continue reading Ray LaHood stops in Logan Square, announces $20 million in stimulus funds for Blue Line repairs, bike share