Stimulating the CTA | NBC Chicago

Stimulating the CTA

Bill in Congress hard to read

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The stimulus bill is leaving the station. Is the CTA aboard?

    What does the stimulus bill now being worked on in Congress have in store for the CTA? It's very hard to tell.

    The CTA Tattlernotes this morning that while some elements of the House bill and the Senate bill are similiar and likely to be easily reconciled - $300 million in rail grants to states versus $250 million - others are very different.

    For example, the Senate version of the stimulus bill contains $2 billion for high-speed rail. The House version contains not a single penny for high-speed rail.

    And yet, the House version of the bill contains more than $3 billion more for transit spending.

    Mayor Daley, as the Tattler notes, has been circumspect about what he's asking for, though he has mentioned repairing 15 miles of public transit lines.

    Meanwhile, Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley - who is running to fill Rahm Emanuel's congressional seat - has set up a website calling for $5 billion more in transit spending.

    CTA chairwoman Carole Brown has said that "she could spend $500 million within 90 days just fixing slow zones and buying new trains and buses."

    Will that stimulate the economy? That's an entirely different question.