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CTA, Metra and Pace to Slash $67 Million in Spending

By Kalyn Belsha in News on Jun 28, 2009 5:45PM

Photo by ekovalev
As expected, the Regional Transportation Authority board agreed this week to slash public funding for Chicago-area transit services by $67 million over the next six months. The nine board members in attendance voted unanimously for the cuts, in the hopes that they will bring the transit agencies' growing budget deficits in line with lower tax revenues.

Previous threats of service cuts are almost certain now. The CTA will reduce spending by $35 million by the end of the year, Metra will cut $19 million and Pace will cut $7 million. In addition, Pace needs to reduce spending on its paratransit program -- which serves people with disabilities -- by $7 million.

To make matters worse, it seems the CTA and RTA are in disagreement about when service cuts can go into effect. CTA President Richard Rodriguez said a specific plan for service cuts could not be outlined until after the vote when CTA received a full briefing on RTA's financial outlook. But on Thursday -- the day of the vote -- RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman said for weeks CTA has had all the information it needs to go ahead with service and budget adjustments.

While it's impossible to know exactly what will be cut, Pace is expected to reduce service during late night, early morning and weekend hours and CTA could nix entire bus routes. [WGN]