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Why this is important

Current funding structures, which rely heavily on rider fares, will not be sufficient to keep transit running at current levels when federal COVID-19 relief dollars run out. Additional public funding is critical to supporting a strong transit workforce, averting major transit service reductions, maintain affordability, and make possible many of the other improvements to improve rider experience.


What is the 'fiscal cliff' and what can be done about it?

December 15, 2022

Understanding capital vs. operating funding and why it matters

February 2, 2023

Fare Recovery Ratio: What it is and why it must be reformed

February 5, 2023

Legislative Update: Lawmakers take important steps to make transit system less reliant on fares

June 1, 2023

Fully funding paratransit service and reduced fare programs is key to closing the transit budget gap

February 29, 2024

Chicago’s transit system is winning competitive grants and advancing critical projects

March 12, 2024

State support for transit in Chicago trails peer regions.

State Support for Transit in Chicago Trails Peer Regions

Portion of Operating Budget Covered by State.

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Input from stakeholder working groups

With an early understanding of the scope and timing of future operating budget deficits, the stakeholder working groups recommended bold actions to increase and diversify funding sources. Many of the specific strategies informed the policy options in the 10-Year Financial Plan memo. Additionally, working groups encouraged RTA and the Service Boards to find new and innovative ways to control expense growth, such as sharing costs through improved coordination, new technologies, and service partnerships with communities. Working group members also stressed the importance of finding new ways to maximize non-farebox system generated revenue.

Advocacy work ahead

The RTA and Service Boards will work together with other stakeholders to execute a broad public outreach campaign of education on transit funding and continue to engage a coalition that will secure new, sustainable, ongoing funding.

The RTA will collaborate with regional partners to identify funding options and develop revenue proposals for the Illinois General Assembly in 2024.


Develop a funding structure that is less reliant on rider fares