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Gov. Pritzker Announces $113.8 Million Investment in Downstate Transit

Press Release - Tuesday, January 24, 2023

DECATUR — Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today announced that $113.8 million has been awarded to downstate transit providers as part of the historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program. The funding brings the total investment in downstate transit via competitive grants to $337.8 million, supporting the Governor's mission to create economic opportunity by improving all modes of transportation while boosting safety and efficiency.

"I'm proud to announce the third round of Rebuild Illinois projects — 32 downstate transit partners both rural and urban — who will receive a total investment of nearly $114 million," said Governor JB Pritzker. "This third round of grants will increase transportation options and create more good-paying jobs across downstate Illinois. Collectively under my administration, we've invested billions of dollars to revitalize downstate communities, more than any administration in Illinois history."

Today's announcement, made in Decatur to celebrate three awards that will help expand the city's transit campus, install solar panels on a bus barn, and replace older vehicles with hybrids, represents the third round of competitive grants in Rebuild Illinois funding to invest in transit outside the Chicago area. Awards are supporting projects that include the purchase of new vehicles as well as the construction of bus shelters, plus stations and maintenance facilities that expand and improve service. The projects provide more transportation options in downstate communities and promote an enhanced quality of life.

"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," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "Through Rebuild Illinois, Gov. Pritzker and IDOT 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."

A total of 32 transit systems are receiving $113.8 million to advance 44 projects, including:
  • St. Clair County Transit District, $10.8 million for the electrification of transit vehicles with supporting charging stations.
  • Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, $7.2 million for hybrid bus replacement.
  • Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), $6 million to replace six buses with zero emission buses.
  • Sangamon Mass Transit District, $6.9 million for a secondary transfer center.
  • Coles County, $70,000 for new bus passenger shelters.
  • City of Macomb and McDonough County Public Transportation, $2 million for new buses. 
A full list of recipients can be viewed by visiting IDOT's Public Transportation Providers page or by clicking here.

"We can't thank Governor Pritzker and IDOT enough for the state's investment in public transportation in Decatur," said Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. "We are very excited to continue transforming our transit campus to support new alternative-fuel technologies and the next generation of public transportation."

"Infrastructure investments are vital to expanding downstate transportation needs," said State Senator Doris Turner (D-Springfield). "We have seen remarkable improvements through the Rebuild Illinois capital program. Expanding Decatur's transit campus, buying additional buses and installing solar panels on the bus barn will increase accessibility for residents to get around town."

"Improving our infrastructure through the bus transit system will improve our community in so many ways," said State Representative Sue Scherer (D-Decatur). "From saving money on transportation costs to helping people reliably get to work on time, we look forward to this completion."

The first two rounds of downstate transit grants went to projects including the renovated transit facility and passenger information kiosks for the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, a new transportation center in downtown Bloomington and a new building to serve as a headquarters, training facility and dispatch center for the West Central Mass Transit District in Jacksonville.

Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing a total of $33.2 billion over six years into the state's aging transportation system, creating jobs and promoting economic growth. Rebuild Illinois is not only the largest capital program in state history, but also the first that touches all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

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