December 2, 2023
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Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) and the Illinois Department of Transportation recently awarded $113.8 million in grants to 32 urban and rural downstate transit providers via the Rebuild Illinois capital program established in 2019.

[Above photo by the Illinois DOT]

This latest round of Rebuild Illinois funding brings the total investment in downstate transit via competitive grants to $337.8 million, the governor said.

“This third round of grants will increase transportation options and create more good-paying jobs across downstate Illinois,” Gov. Pritzker noted in a statement.

Omer Osman. Photo via the Illinois DOT.

“These awards to our transit systems will strengthen our status as a national leader in providing cost-effective public transportation that’s safe and accessible to everyone in our state,” added Illinois DOT Secretary Omer Osman. “Through Rebuild Illinois, [we] continue to improve the state’s transportation system by seeking out the best projects and getting our partners at the local level the resources they need to deliver them.”

State departments of transportation across the country are making similar investments in transit systems, many based on the funding provided by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA, enacted in November 2021.

Gov. Phil Murphy. Photo by the New Jersey DOT.

For example, in December 2022, Governor Phil Murphy (D) and the New Jersey Department of Transportation issued $24 million across three programs to expand access to safe transportation while enhancing the areas surrounding public transit facilities statewide.

New Jersey’s “Safe Streets to Transit” program is disbursing $13.4 million in funding to improve access to transit facilities and public transportation in counties and municipalities.

Concurrently, the state’s “Local Bikeway” program will provide $8.4 million to promote bicycling as an alternate mode of transportation, while the “Transit Village” program will provide $2.9 million toward turning areas around transit facilities into mixed-use neighborhoods.

In July 2022, the Texas Department of Transportation helped boost public transit investments statewide due to additional funding received from the IIJA – distributing more than $146 million in transit funding, a 65 percent increase compared to funds approved in the summer of 2021.

And in January 2022, Connecticut launched a new state transit program called “CTpass.” Administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation, that program offers group rates to eligible organizations to access public transportation services statewide, including rail and bus systems.

editor@aashto.org

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