Businesses urge governor to support House Mass Transit Committee recommendations for transit funding, reform - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Businesses urge governor to support House Mass Transit Committee recommendations for transit funding, reform

Monday's p.m. rush hour at Union Station will be backdrop for news conference with business, university, and elected leaders

(Chicago) … Metropolitan Chicago is Illinois’ economic engine: two-thirds of the state’s population lives here, and two-thirds of total state revenue is generated here. Without a strong, accountable and reliable public transportation system, Chicagoland could easily be in the ranks of Cleveland … or Detroit.

Alarmed by what’s at stake for the region and state if Metra, Pace, and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) must cut service and raise fares, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) will hold a news conference at Union Station in the Loop on Monday, June 25, at 3 p.m. Business leaders, university officials, and state legislators will unite to ask Gov. Rod Blagojevich to support a fix for the region’s ailing transit system.

The Illinois House Mass Transit Committee has passed a bipartisan bill that would provide funding and induce reform for the region’s transit agencies, but Gov. Blagojevich has threatened a veto due to the measure’s sales tax increase. “By standing in the way of a regional sales tax increase, which would provide an adequate, sustainable source of funding for public transportation, the governor will do more harm than good to the region’s working people and to local businesses,” said Peter Skosey , MPC vice president of external relations. “All three transit agencies need a stable, sufficient revenue source to operate, maintain and expand service. Without it, they all will be forced to raise fares and reduce service year after year, more and more working people will have to dig deeper into their pockets to get around, and the resulting increase in traffic congestion will drive business away from metropolitan Chicago , hurting the entire state.”

WHAT: News conference with area business, university and elected leaders, to tell Gov. Rod Blagojevich that entire transit system needs stable, adequate funding

WHEN: Monday, June 25, 2007, 3 p.m.

WHERE: Union Station, on the sidewalk between the Adams Street and Jackson Boulevard entrances

WHO:
Sen. John J. Cullerton (D-Chicago)
Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward)
Chicago Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward)
Beth Hayden, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Jones Lang LaSalle
Mary K. Ludgin, Managing Director & Director, Investment Research, Heitman; Co-Chair, Metropolitan Planning Council Urban Development Committee
Sandra Pruett, AFSCME Local 1215, transit-dependent city library worker
Peter Skosey, Vice President of External Relations, Metropolitan Planning Council John Wozniak, President, Harold Washington College

For more information, contact Mandy Burrell, MPC communications associate, at 312.863.6018 or mburrell@metroplanning.org .

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