The Illinois Regional Transportation Authority last week warned that additional service cuts are looming if the state doesn’t soon make good on $250 million in aid payments owed to the agency.
In a letter to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, the agency said its service boards have just $90 million to cover operations over the next few months and service disruptions are inevitable if the state doesn’t forward its overdue payments. The RTA is among the recipients of state funding clamoring for payment as the state faces a $5 billion backlog of bills.
Also last week, the RTA announced its executive director Stephen Schlickman plans to leave the agency after his fifth anniversary in October. “I made a commitment to stay in this job for five years during this very important time for our transit system and our region. By October, we will have achieved many of the goals we have sought for the RTA,” Schlickman said in a statement. He will return to his private transportation policy and finance consulting business.
During his tenure, the RTA won legislation that boosted the region’s sales tax for transit, completed its first strategic plan in more than 15 years, and $2.7 billion was earmarked for transit projects in the state’s new $31 billion capital program.