CHICAGO – State Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, is announcing the release of $95 million from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to expand Illinois’ passenger rail system, including major renovations for Chicago’s Union Station.
“Union Station plays a vital role for Illinois, both locally, by helping many Chicagoans reach other parts of the city, and nationally, as Amtrak trains help Illinoisans travel throughout the country. Renovations will relieve congestion, speed up commutes for countless people and make the whole system safer and cleaner,” Buckner said. “Improvements to public transit are key to building a stronger future for our community, Chicago and the entire state.”
The $94 million will further add to the many infrastructure improvements in the Rebuild Illinois capitol plan. This plan has contributed to, among other things, growth of passenger trains across Illinois. This grant will be managed by Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation to address a portfolio of projects that will improve rail service and operations in Illinois, and by extension, the entire Midwest. Renovations are expected to increase station capacity by a total of 120,000 riders statewide.
As a lawmaker, Buckner has made improving public transit a long-time focus. Most recently, Buckner passed legislation to reform public transit by eliminating fares for domestic violence survivors, implementing public safety measures and requiring movement towards a zero-emission bus fleet by 2026.
“I grew up in Chicago, and I know how many people depend on affordable, on-time and safe buses and trains to live and work,” Buckner said. “Maintaining and improving that system will always be a priority for me, and it’s encouraging to see such a substantial funding commitment that is sure to advance that cause