Obama gives the City of Chicago a grant for $1.1 billion to improve its rapid transit system.
I’m sure that’s a personal loan and not a taxpayer freebie since only Congress controls spending … </sarcasm>
City Hall has received the parting gift it wanted from the Obama administration: just under $1.1 billion in federal grants to rebuild a key stretch of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red Line north.
The city and U.S. Department of Transportation officials are scheduled to sign a contract tomorrow known as a full-funding grant agreement, committing the DOT’s Federal Transit Agency to provide $957 million in “core capacity” funds and another $125 million in anti-congestion money for the CTA’s Phase One Red/Purple Modernization project.
The money will be matched with city property taxes collected by a special transit tax-increment financing district that the City Council in November unanimously voted to establish, covering property one half mile on either side of the Red Line from North Avenue to the city limits.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in a phone interview, called the Red Line “the central nerve” of the CTA system.
The federal money “means 6,000 (construction) jobs, and it means decades of neighborhood improvements,” he said. “Forty percent of the people who take the CTA take that line.”