CHICAGO (CBS) — The CTA hopes to attract more riders by speeding up its buses, and giving buses green light priority over other vehicles is a key part of that strategy, but it says it is encountering problems obtaining federal grant money that’s been in the hands of the Regional Transportation Authority since 2012.
The $40 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant is intended specifically for the bus priority projects. The CTA said it has been able to get $2 million to date, far less than it wants for projects on its 9/Ashland and 49/Western buses, which carry a combined 60,000 riders on the average weekday.
“They’ve been slow to parcel it out, although we’re making some progress and are beginning to get some of that released,” CTA President Forrest Claypool said Wednesday. “We had hoped that they would be willing to spend some of it on basic hardware that is necessary to add traffic signal prioritization.”