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updated: 12/20/2013 8:14 AM

Durbin, Kirk support Argonne mass transit study

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Associated Press

Illinois' two U.S. senators say they're supporting a proposal by Argonne National Laboratory to conduct new federal research into mass transit safety.

Argonne wants to lead a program that would examine how well mass transit systems plan for and respond to emergencies.

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Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk say a lack of evacuation planning and coordination among transit systems could be catastrophic, especially in the event of a mass evacuation.

They wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, encouraging him to consider Lemont-based Argonne's proposal.

They say the Chicago area's integrated mass transit systems "will serve as a test bed" for tools that could benefit transit systems across the nation.

Regional transit and state transportation agencies have agreed to participate in the project.

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