Chicago Transit Improvements Would Fall On Lean Times Under Trump's Proposed Budget
There are growing concerns about how President Donald Trump's proposed budget would affect the Chicago region. Of particular interest is what would become of public transit funding, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Trump's "skinny budget" calls for a 13% reduction in federal funding for transportation, with most of the cuts earmarked for nonroad spending. If the president's budget were passed today, that would put CTA's long dream of extending the Red Line south of 95th Street further out of reach. The budget would also send Metra scrambling to fill the gap in its capital fundraising efforts. Metra needs $12B over the next decade for its network of commuter trains. But arguably most alarming is how the budget affects Amtrak. Nearly 25% of the long-distance train lines that pass through Union Station would be eliminated.
It is wise to remember that Trump's budget proposal is just that. But although there are no details on how the cuts would specifically affect public transit, the revelation that the administration is focusing on highway-based funding is alarming to people like Chicago Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld, who said the intent alone should be troubling. Trump's budget proposal will not affect the $1.1B in funding the Transportation Department awarded CTA in January for infrastructure improvements to the Red Line's north branch and Purple Line.