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Resolution Supporting Regional Transportation Funding


Cook County Board of Commissioners
May 3, 2005

RESOLUTION

Sponsored by

THE HONORABLE LARRY SUFFREDIN, JOHN H. STROGER, JR., PRESIDENT, JERRY BUTLER, FORREST CLAYPOOL, EARLEAN COLLINS, JOHN P. DALEY, ELIZABETH ANN DOODY GORMAN, GREGG GOSLIN, CARL R. HANSEN, ROBERTO MALDONADO, JOSEPH MARIO MORENO, JOAN P. MUPRHY, ANTHONY J. PERACIA, MIKE QUIGLEY, PETER N. SILVESTRI, DEBORAH SIMS, AND BOBBIE L. STEELE, COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

WHEREAS, maintenance of adequate public transportation is an "essential public purpose," as recognized by Article XIII, Section 7, of the 1970 Illinois Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the preservation, improvement and expansion of public transportation services in Cook County is in the best interest of preserving the quality of life for the residents, visitors and business community of Cook County; and

WHEREAS, public transportation is a regional resource, improving the quality of life for all residents of Northeastern Illinois through reduced traffic congestion, cleaner air and a more efficient, vibrant and productive regional economy; and

WHEREAS, the Regional Transportation Authority's ("RTA's") directive to the CTA, Metra, and Pace to prepare alternative budgets demonstrates that existing funding sources and mechanisms do not provide adequate resources to maintain current transportation services; and

WHEREAS, a 1% sales tax is collected in the City of Chicago and in suburban Cook County to support regional transit operations; and

WHEREAS, Cook County and the City of Chicago have collaborated, along with other regional partners, to win support from the General Assembly for the operating and capital needs of regional mass transit in the Chicagoland area; and

WHEREAS, a solution to the inadequate funding can only come from a revision in statutory funding sources and distribution formula; and

WHEREAS, Cook County is deeply concerned about how service cuts would impact both citizens of the region who are transit-dependent and citizens who are choice riders who would add to congestion by switching from transit use to automobile use; and

WHEREAS, unless adequate funding is provided for the CTA and all regional transit, the transit agencies will not be able to provide world-class transit for a world-class County; and

WHEREAS, as demonstrated by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Board at its September 10, 2004 adoption of alternative statutory funding ordinances commencing the 2005 budget process for the RTA and its service boards, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Pace and Metra, existing funding services and mechanisms do not provide adequate resources to maintain current transportation services; and

WHEREAS, appropriate legislative action is required to give effect to the RTA resolution and service board alternative budget resolutions; and

WHEREAS, the existing funding formula found in the Regional Transportation Authority Act, which has not been changed in over 20 years, should address and consider transit service funding challenges and needs from a regional perspective; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Cook County Board of Commissioners be on record as supporting Ordinances, adopted by the RTA Board September 10, 2004 and budget resolutions implementing this resolution adopted by CTA, Pace and Metra; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Cook County Board joins with the CTA, business leaders, community leaders and municipalities in supporting the following five core principles for regional transit solutions:

1. Public transit is an essential regional resource and the entire Northeastern Illinois region needs more operating and capital funding now.

2. No transit service board in the region should gain at the expense of the others.

 
Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
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