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Metro-East to get more state money for MetroLink

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis – The state of Illinois will send money to more local public transit agencies, under legislation signed into law Wednesday.

St. Clair County in the Metro-East will get $5 million from the plan to offset deficits from running Metrolink.

But State Senator Bill Haine is hesitant to call it a bailout because he says the money will be spent on needed services.

"It also allows St. Clair County to run this beneficial light rail line without choosing between the bus service and the light rail line," Haine said. "That is good public policy."

St. Clair County and the Chicago area are the only spots in Illinois with commuter rail service.

Another $5 million will be spent among other transit agencies in southern Illinois, including Madison County. The new law also allows makes five transit agencies in Illinois eligible for state funding. They previously weren't.