Effort to combine CTA, Metra, Pace gets public hearing on Tuesday

State Sen. Ram Villivalam and state Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado, both Chicago Democrats, introduced a bill in April to combine the region’s transit agencies. Residents can offer their opinions in a series of public hearings that begin Tuesday in Chicago.

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A Chicago Transit Authority bus at a Loop Link stop

Passengers board a CTA bus on the Loop Link system. Public hearings begin this week to discuss the state’s public transit system.

Sun-Times file

Should state government combine the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, Pace and the Regional Transit Authority into one superagency?

Residents can offer their opinions on a proposed state bill in a series of public hearings beginning Tuesday in downtown Chicago. The hearings will explore whether combining the area’s transit agencies could reduce overhead costs and make them more efficient.

State Sen. Ram Villivalam and state Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado, both Chicago Democrats, introduced a bill in April to combine the region’s transit agencies. The next step is to hold public hearings to discuss how transit relates to the economy, public health, accessibility and climate change.

“In order to provide a public transit system that works for our people, we have to collaboratively discuss how it can better serve our communities,” Villivalam said in a statement.

The area’s transit agencies continue to face lower ridership and an expected fiscal cliff in 2026 when government pandemic grant money expires. The state legislators’ proposal offers more than $1 billion in yearly funding to keep the area’s public transit afloat in exchange for combining the agencies into a single entity called the Metropolitan Mobility Authority.

Some hearing locations have not been determined. They are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, July 9, at 10 a.m., Bilandic Building, 160 N. La Salle St., Chicago.
  • July 24 at 10 a.m., south suburbs of Cook County.
  • Aug. 8 at 10 a.m., counties of DuPage, Will and Kendall.
  • Aug. 28 at 10 a.m., Kane and McHenry counties.
  • Sept. 18 at 10 a.m., northwest suburbs of Cook County and Lake County.
  • Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. in Springfield.
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