CHICAGO (WBBM) — New Regional Transportation Authority executive director Joseph Costello is determined to keep one eye on immediate needs and the other on the future.

“Clearly, financial challenges are in front of us, and so that’s job one,” Costello said. “But at the same time, we can’t forget to look to the future. What makes cities great is good public transportation. We need to reenergize this city, and this state, and even on a national level.”

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, Costello was the agency’s treasurer for 15 years.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts Reports

RTA chairman John Gates says no one knows better what drives spending at the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.

“The pressing issues for this agency for transit in northeast Illinois generally are financial,” Gates said.

But does Costello know enough about the transportation end of the agencies to make sound policy? Costello says he does, and says better coordination of bus rail, and commuter lines is a must.

“As part of the prerequisite for getting appropriate funding for public transportation, we can demonstrate that we’re running it as efficiently and as effectively as possible,” Costello said.

The state remains about $150 million behind in its promised subsidy payments.