A bill that would amend the Toll Highway Act and allow any vehicles owned or operated by a mass transit district to use toll highways without paying is now sitting in the House Rules Committee.
House Bill 5856 was filed earlier this month by Democratic Rep. Nicholas K. Smith of the 34th District. It would apply to transit vehicles transporting passengers only.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the second largest public transportation system in the country, servicing more than 545 million riders a year spread across the Chicago and neighboring suburbs.
Overall, the CTA system is composed of 140 bus routes and 242 miles of rapid transit rail track. In 2013, the breakdown for that included an estimated 400 million bus riders across the state and more than 736 million trips.
The region is also further serviced by Metra, the commuter rail agency that serves more than 81 million riders across Northeastern Illinois; and Pace, the suburban bus agency with more 39 million riders.
In all, 96 out of the state’s 102 counties offered some form of transit service to and from their communities.