Ill. mass transit could benefit from stimulus

March 5, 2009 5:10:47 PM PST
Area mass transit could be in line for some big money from the federal stimulus funds.Illinois learned today it is getting more than 467-and a half million dollars... From the 8-billion made available for transportation projects across the country.

Local transportation advocates were at Union Station on Thursday morning, calling on Governor Pat Quinn to use that money wisely.

The public interest research group wants Quinn to prioritize transit projects when deciding how the funds should be distributed.

"The plans that have been sitting on the shelves in Illinois to get the trip to St. Louis down to three and a half hours and the trip to Springfield down to two are now very realistic so we could within two years with proper commitment from the state that trip to St. Louis and Springfield and that's very exciting," said Rick Harnish, executive director, Transit Riders Alliance.

The group is also calling on the governor to use the money to build more bike paths and pedestrian walkways.

The governor's office had no comment on Thursday on how the funds will be distributed.