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RTA Capital Program Glossary

Term Definition
Annual Program The RTA Five-Year Capital Program is comprised of two elements: Annual Program that represents the current fiscal year and an out-year program that represents future programming years.
Capital Asset Preservation Program (CAP) See Transfer Capital.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) The CMAQ program, jointly administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), was reauthorized in 1998 under TEA-21. It provided funds to State DOTs, MPOs, and transit agencies to invest in projects that reduce criteria air pollutants regulated from transportation-related sources over a period of six years (1998-2003). See Federal Highway Administration CMAQ Program.
CTA Bonds Bonds sold by the CTA for the acceleration of certain CTA capital projects. These bonds are payable from and secured solely using CTA's annual allocation of federal Section 5307 formula funds.
Discretionary Funds Discretionary Funds are allocated by the RTA at its discretion to the Service Boards. These funds include the Public Transportation Fund (PTF) and a portion of the 15 percent of the RTA Sales Tax.
Expenditures The Service Boards expend funds when they incur costs for the work completed by a third party (such as a vendor, consultant or contractor) or by the Service Boards’ own labor.
Flexible Funds Federal funds made available by TEA-21 that can be used for various transportation projects, including both highway and mass transit projects. Allocation of these funds is at the discretion of state and local agencies (e.g. CMAQ, STP).
Grant Awards The Service Boards receive grants from funding agencies, primarily the RTA, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for projects included in the RTA’s Annual Program. The RTA issues grant agreements (or awards) to the Service Boards based on their applications that reflect their approved capital program and marks. Grant awards also include projects funded with monies provided through the Service Boards’ own budgets.
IDOT Funding provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Obligations In contrast to operating funds, which are used to provide mass transit services, the Service Boards use capital funds to repair, replace, and enhance their capital assets. The Service Boards obligate capital funds when they sign a contract with a third party (such as a vendor, consultant or contractor) or when they reserve the funds to pay their own labor to perform the work.
Operation Green Light Program (OGL) The OGL program is an Illinois FIRST Transit program that provides state series B bonds to fund strategic transit capital projects that address traffic congestion problems in northeastern Illinois. The annual appropriation is $15 million per year for a five year period (FY 2000-2004). In addition to this program, IDOT allocates approximately $3 million of road funds per year to improve access to transit and for commuter rail cross grading improvements.
RTA Bond Interest Interest earned on the RTA bonds and 1989 SCIP bonds used to fund Service Boards' capital improvements.
RTA Bonds Illinois FIRST authorized a $300 million increase in the RTA bonding authority. The RTA issues these bonds and pays the debt service from RTA revenues.
SCIP Bonds The RTA was authorized under the RTA Act, as amended in 1989, to issue $500 million of bonds for public transportation projects approved by the Governor of the State as part of the RTA’s Strategic Capital Improvement Program (SCIP). The Illinois FIRST legislation of 1999 that was directed towards improving the state’s infrastructure, increased RTA’s authorization to issue SCIP bonds by $1.3 billion (SCIP II). The State of Illinois reimburses RTA an amount equal to the debt service on these bonds. The Governor must approve a SCIP Plan prior to the use of SCIP bond proceeds to pay for any project in the Plan.
Section 3 The previous section of the Federal Transit Act (formerly known as the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964), as amended, that authorizes discretionary funds for capital public transportation projects.
Section 9 The previous section of the Federal Transit Act (formerly known as the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964), as amended, that authorizes grants to public transportation systems in urbanized areas (population greater than 50,000) for both capital and operating programs based on formulas set out in statute.
Section 5307 Section 5307, which replaced the Section 9 program, is a formula grant program for urbanized areas providing capital, operating, and planning assistance for mass transportation. Funds are apportioned to urbanized areas utilizing a formula based on population, population density, and other factors associated with transit service and ridership. Section 5307 is funded from both General Revenues and Trust Funds.
Section 5309 The Section 5309 program, which replaced the Section 3 program, provides funding for the establishment of new rail or busway projects (new starts, 5309B), the improvement and maintenance of existing rail and other fixed guideway systems that are more than seven years old (5309A), and the upgrading of bus systems (5309C). Capital assistance grants made to states and local agencies are funded up to 80% of the net project costs, unless the grant recipient requests a lower Federal grant percentage.
Series "B" Bonds Illinois State Transportation Bonds used as all or a portion of the local share required to match federal funds for public transportation capital projects.
Ser. Bd. (Service Board) Service Board Funds are funds designated for capital improvements from their own fund balances and other external sources.
Surface Transportation Program (STP) The Surface Transportation Program (STP) under TEA-21 provides flexible funding that may be used by States and localities for projects on any Federal-aid highway, including the NHS, bridge projects on any public road, transit capital projects, and intracity and intercity bus terminals and facilities.
TTIF TTIF stands for “Transit Tax Increment Financing” which is a special transit investment financing tool that directs a percentage of the increase in property tax revenues generated by project(s) within a designated transit improvement area to fund transit improvements within the same area.
Transportation Development Credits The toll revenue credit provision of the Transporation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) permits states to use certain toll revenue expenditures as a credit toward the local match for certain highway and transit federal programs. These credits satisfy the federal matching requirement however they do not add funds to the capital program.
Transfer Capital (TC) or Sales Tax Designated for Capital Transfer Capital is funds that can be used for operations but have been reallocated for capital improvement projects.

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