Communities get $112 million for transit investment

Chronicle Media

The Rockford Mass Transit District is a recipient of some of the Rebuild Illinois money designated to community transit development. (Photo courtesy of RMTD)

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that $112 million is being awarded to 31 downstate transit providers as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program.

The grants will help to expand and improve service, providing more transportation options and promoting an enhanced quality of life in communities throughout the state.

“Due to decades of underinvestment by previous administrations, roads, bridges, and transit systems across the state, especially in downstate Illinois, are in desperate need of repair. During my first year in office, I worked with state representatives and senators from both sides of the aisle to create the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan — the largest infrastructure investment in our state’s history,” said Gov.  J.B. Pritzker. “Over the next five years, downstate communities will receive $121 million to improve and expand transit services – that’s on top of the work that’s already been done in Year One, which delivered $2.7 billion in improvements to over 1,700 miles of highway and over 120 bridges statewide. These projects will improve the quality of life for downstate residents and provide good jobs to grow our economy in every region.”

A complete list of local providers and awards can be viewed at

Projects include the purchase of new vehicles as well as the construction of new bus shelters, stations and maintenance facilities.

“Transit in our downstate communities can be a lifeline for getting to work or school, a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the grocery store,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. “This funding through Rebuild Illinois means these providers finally will have the resources they need to improve service in communities that have not seen this type of investment for many years.”

Rebuild Illinois identifies a total of $4.5 billion — $3 billion in bonding and $1.5 billion in new pay-as-you-go funding — to invest in transit throughout the state. Today’s announcement is the first installment of $355 million being distributed via grants in three cycles to transit providers outside the Chicago area.

The remaining funds will be distributed in two more distributions, with the next call for proposals in 2021 and 2023.