TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: CTA Cries Wolf Once Again; Demanding 97.5 Million Dollar Subsidy

CTA Cries Wolf Once Again; Demanding 97.5 Million Dollar Subsidy

Jon Hilkevitch (
Fri, 25 May 2007 15:32:04 -0500

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Continuing on the 'taxes' and 'subsidies'
thread started a few days ago regards public transit and highways, etc. PAT],1,360959.story?collchi-news-hed&ctrack=2&cset=true

CTA presents doomsday scenario

By Jon Hilkevitch
Tribune transportation reporter

May 25, 2007

The CTA would eliminate 63 bus routes and two rail lines, and raise
fares to as much as $3.25 a ride on trains if no new state funding is
provided, CTA President Ron Huberman said today.

The CTA also would institute separate -- and higher -- fare structures
for rush hours.

The combination of fare hikes and service cuts would begin in
mid-September, and would result in a loss of 260,000 rides each
weekday, according to the CTA's projection. CTA buses and trains now
provide 1.6 million rides each day.

The CTA says it needs an extra $97.5 million in state money.

Under the plan, only bus routes that currently operate on Sundays
would be retained. Those 91 routes would continue to operate at
current levels.

Purple Line/Evanston Express service would be eliminated as would rail
service on the Yellow Line, which runs between Dempster Street in
Skokie and the Howard Red Line terminal, Huberman said.

The Purple Line would continue to operate between Howard Street and
downtown Evanston to Wilmette.

The cuts would be needed to bridge a $97.5 million gap in the CTA's 2007
budget, Huberman said.

Also included in the contingency plan is the transfer of $56.9 million
in capital improvement funds to operations and $5.6 million in new
administrative cuts, he said. Those administrative cuts are in
addition to the $12.5 million in cuts announced two weeks ago.

About 840 CTA employees would be laid off, he said.

Huberman said the agency's plan was not an attempt to pressure state
lawmakers to come up with more funding.

"If we made no changes, the CTA would be out of service in October," he
said, adding that the agency would be unable to meet payroll.

Among several options studied, the combination of service cuts and
fare increases is "the least burdensome" on riders, he said.

Under some of those other options, _fares would increase as much as $7_
he said.

Fare increases would range from 25 cents to $1.25 per ride depending
on the time of day and mode of travel, he said. Higher fares would be
charged during rush periods, with $2.75 a ride on buses and $3.25 on

The agency's goal would be to shift more riders to off-peak
hours. Under the plan, the CTA would run 422 fewer buses and 68 fewer
trains during peak travel times each day, Huberman said.

In non-peak periods, fares would go to $2.25 for buses and $2.50 for

The current cash fare during peak and off-peak periods is $2 a ride.
There are no transfers.

Prices for unlimited-ride passes would increase an average of 63

Cost of the 30-day pass, the agency's most popular, would increase from
$75 to $122.

Copyright 2007, Chicago Tribune

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Isn't that incredible? Cut out two
train routes and about half the busses, AND raise the fares to three
or four dollars! This is just IMO since I do not plan to be back in
that hell hole anytime soon, but the Transit Atrocity might insure
that a working elevator be present at all stations, that fare
collection agents be friendly, courteous and knowledgeable, and most
important, that the agents/train personnel be HONEST about their
fare collections. Oh, and it would help if all the outside stations
had heaters where people had to stand for 20-30 minutes waiting for
trains and busses. People write and wonder why I do not move back to
Chicago to live. I could not begin to financially afford living there
any longer. For what I pay to live in a full, complete house here, I
would NOT be able to get anything close in Chicago, and I would be
afraid of trying to get on a bus or train (as they now are constructed)
with my motorized chair, let alone afford to pay the fare to ride. PAT]

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