The head of Illinois' Regional Transportation Authority is upset Congress postponed a major decision in funding transportation projects. The Republican-controlled U.S. House voted yesterday to simply extend the country's current surface transportation bill for 90 days.
"Millions of transit riders and commuters across northeastern Illinois will pay the price," Joseph Costello, executive director of RTA, told the Sun-Times. RTA controls the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra trains, and Pace buses.
The Democratic-lead U.S. Senate passed a transportation bill two weeks ago that outlined $109 billion in federal money over the next two years for both road and mass transit projects. But the Senate agreed to the 90-day extension yesterday, as failure to reach an agreement meant the expiration of federal transit money.
Surface transportation bills are typically five-year packages that include billions for both the nation's transportation needs and pet projects of individual lawmakers. Past bills lead to the expansion of the CTA.