PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The future of mass transit in Peoria was just one of the issues discussed during the 46th McCord Lecture in Peplow Pavilion at Bradley University.

Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez was the guest speaker, and she spoke about passenger rail at the national and local levels. There has been a growing need for faster and more efficient transportation alternatives.

“The amount of mobility options that are all part of what we consider mass transit has increased, and that increase is a result of the demand that there has been for a different way of moving,” Fernandez said.

Peoria has made efforts to upgrade its mass transit system, with ideas such as easier access to Chicago and other major cities in the Midwest. Fernandez is focused on making sure that mass transit is accessible and that everyone’s needs are accounted for.

“We need to make sure that people always have an option, that they’re not left out or left behind, because there’s no way for them to get to where they need to go so that limits their opportunity to grow,” Fernandez said.

The Federal Transit Administration’s budget has been increased to almost $17 billion. Fernandez hopes that it will help them reach their infrastructure goals.