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Illinois congressmen call for full funding of mass transit, passenger rail

Illinois congressmen called for full funding for mass transit and passenger rail in a letter to a transportation subcommittee Monday.

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat and the only member of the Illinois delegation on the House Appropriations Committee, led the letter to the subcommittee on transportation, housing and urban development, according to a press release from his office.

“Today in Chicago, transit and rail as a whole generate an estimated $12 billion in annual economic benefits and 120,000 jobs to the region,” Quigley wrote. “Without robust federal funding of transit and passenger rail, Illinois transportation systems will be subject to deteriorating roadbeds and equipment, bad on-time performance, increased traffic congestion, and loss of ridership and American jobs.”

The Environmental Law and Policy Center and the Blue Green Alliance released a report earlier this year outlining the economic benefits of increased investment in transit and passenger rail to Illinois, as well as to the entire United States, according to Quigley’s office.