Pace thanks the members of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee for their support of public transit funding in Thursday’s markup of the FY23 Appropriations bill. Congress’s recognition of the importance of transit is critical as the nation emerges from the pandemic, as shown by the Subcommittee’s funding of transit programs at the record levels called for in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
In particular, Pace expresses our appreciation to the sponsors of Community Project Funding, which was submitted on behalf of Pace and our riders and included in the legislation passed by the Subcommittee:
- Congressman Sean Casten, for five electric paratransit buses for Pace’s River Division in Elgin. These new vehicles will help Pace expedite our transition to a zero-emission fleet while reducing pollution in the Elgin area.
- Congressman Bill Foster, for an indoor passenger waiting area at Pace’s Bolingbrook (Old Chicago) Park-n-Ride. This facility offers new amenities to riders of Pace’s I-55 express service. Ridership on that service has grown tremendously since shoulder riding by buses debuted in 2011.
- Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, for transit signal priority along Harlem Avenue and Cermak Road. This technology reduces travel time for bus riders in the corridor and sets the stage for Pace’s forthcoming Pulse Lines on Harlem and Cermak.
- Congresswoman Marie Newman, for transit signal priority along 95th Street. This technology reduces travel time for bus riders in the corridor and sets the stage for Pace’s forthcoming Pulse 95th Street Line.
- Congressman Brad Schneider, for two electric buses for Pace’s North Division in Waukegan. These new vehicles will help Pace expedite our transition to a zero-emission fleet while reducing pollution in the Waukegan area.
“The support shown by our Congressional delegation has been tremendous,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger. “Our industry has faced a difficult few years, but the funding provided for in formula grants and the Community Project Funding grants in this legislation will offer benefits for residents and businesses of northeastern Illinois for years to come. Investment in Pace creates economic development for the region, job access for those in need of employment, new opportunities for residents of historically underserved communities, and improvements in air quality for everyone. We’re so pleased that our partners in the U.S. Congress recognize the value that Pace and public transit brings to their constituents.”
Additionally, Pace is hopeful that additional federal funding awards for our discretionary grant applications may be announced later this year, including funds for:
- a RAISE grant for the Harvey Transportation Center,
- a Lo-No Emission bus grant for North Division facility electrification, and
- a Buses and Bus Facilities grant also for North Division facility electrification.
As the FY 2023 THUD Appropriations legislation that contains the above-mentioned Community Project Funding progresses, Pace is advocating for Congress and our Illinois delegation to fully fund public transportation in the bill. While last year's Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) set funding levels for the next five years, the annual appropriations bills must also provide the levels of funding called for in the IIJA if Pace and transit agencies across America are to tackle climate change, advance equity, and meet the growing and evolving mobility demands of our communities.