Transit Travel

Chicago’s Metra Board Approves 2020 Budget

Metra train in Chicago

The Metra Board of Directors today approved a 2020 operating budget that keeps expenses in check, does not require a fare increase, and provides $480.5 million for capital investment in locomotives and railcars, stations, bridges, and yards.

Capital budget
Metra’s 2020 capital budget was significantly bolstered by the new state capital program and is expected to deliver nearly $1.45 billion to Metra over the next five years. When combined with $961.8 million in expected federal formula funding, $146 million from the RTA, $26 million in fare revenue and $4 million from other sources, Metra will have nearly $2.6 billion to invest in its system over the next five years – an unprecedented amount.

In 2020, Metra expects $205.2 million in state bond funds and $73.7 million in what has been labeled “pay-as-you-go” funding – an annual allotment of funding tied to the state gas tax that will grow with inflation. Funding from federal ($186.7 million) and local ($14.9 million) sources provide additional capital funding in 2020, bringing the total to $480.5 million.

Metra’s 2020 capital program proposes to allocate $331.1 million, or about two-thirds, of the available 2020 capital funds to five major areas:

  • New railcars and new locomotives: $138.8 million. Metra has a request for proposals pending for as many as 400 new cars. Money is also being set aside for additional locomotives in the near future.
  • Locomotive and car rehabilitation: $95.3 million. Metra will continue locomotive and car rehab programs along with funding to overhaul 21 recently purchased Amtrak locomotives and upgrade 54 locomotives with more reliable AC traction motors.
  • Stations and parking: $51.2 million. Metra is undertaking major efforts to upgrade its stations, with an emphasis on improving ADA accessibility.
  • Railyard rehabilitation: $23.2 million. Major projects are funded to expand layover yards that will allow for the potential addition of more trains in the future.
  • Bridges: $22.6 million. Metra has nearly 500 bridges that are more than a century old and this funding will be used to design and replace many.

A copy of the full budget document can be found here.

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