[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Representative Nikki Budzinski (D-IL-13) and U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced $196,296,401 in federal funding for the Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District for Metro railcar replacement. This funding comes through the Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023 Rail Vehicle Replacement (RVR) Program, helping transit systems with much-needed capital improvements to replace rail rolling stock.
“Modernizing our railways isn’t just about upgrading equipment — it’s about investing in our economy, our environment and our future,” said Budzinski. “I’m proud to join Senators Duckworth and Durbin in announcing more than $196 million for new trains for the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District. This funding will help bring our transit system into the 21st century and pave the way for more efficient and affordable options for passengers.”
“Modernizing our nation’s rapid transit rail rolling stock is critically important to help riders safely and efficiently move throughout their cities,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to join Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Budzinski in announcing this substantial funding for the Metro East, and I’ll keep working to help improve transit development, access and accessibility for all Illinoisans.”
“Infrastructure improvements in rural communities help bridge the gap in access to services and opportunities that can lead to sustained economic growth,” said Durbin. “This federal investment supports the vital rail modernization that will improve transportation for residents in the Metro East and surrounding regions. I’ll keep working with Senator Duckworth and Congresswoman Budzinski to ensure Illinoisans from all zip codes have access to safe and reliable transportation.”
“The regional economy is driven by public transit access to jobs, health care, and entertainment. We rely on our federal legislative delegation to provide the capital to help keep our region moving. Senator Duckworth, Senator Durbin, and Congresswoman Budzinski have been staunch supporters of transit from Day One! This critical capital funding award that our delegation helped us secure means our transit system will continue to move forward with clean, state of the art modern trains,” said Taulby Roach, Bi-State Development President and CEO.
MetroLink light rail vehicles operate on 46-miles of track serving 11 stations in St. Clair County, Illinois and 27 stations in Missouri. Construction is expected to begin later this year on the newest MetroLink station, which will be built at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and will connect the airport to the Shiloh-Scott MetroLink Station. The MetroLink system opened in July 1993, and 25 of the original 31 MetroLink train cars are still in service and will be for several more years until they are replaced by the new light rail vehicles.
Transit riders in the St. Louis region boarded a MetroLink train nearly 6.5 million times in Fiscal Year 2022. In addition to MetroLink, Metro Transit also operates a fleet of 24 battery-electric buses and more than 260 clean-burning diesel buses that serve 58 routes in southwestern Illinois and eastern Missouri, and it operates Metro Call-A-Ride, a paratransit fleet of 123 vans. Metro Transit is a Bi-State Development enterprise.