(CBS) — The head of the Regional Transportation Authority believes the public will understand the need for more public transit money when they hear what the money is buying, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

RTA executive director Leanne Redden says the Chicago area transit agencies need some $12 billion for capital projects and she admits some of it’s a hard sell for the average person.

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“I call them the invisible stuff and sometimes it’s bridges, sometimes it’s tunnels, sometimes it’s the technology or the communication systems and the switching systems,” Redden said.

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But she says those projects improve service but there are also obvious needs. For example, Redden says the CTA is modernizing and rebuilding some of its rail lines and stations and Metra needs new rail cars.

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Redden says the state hasn’t had a capital program for years.