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CTA Outlines New Budget, Fare Hike Proposals

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Oct 12, 2009 2:20PM

2009_02_19_CTA.jpg As regular as the first frost of the season, so, too, does the oncoming winter also bring another tradition of recent years: a proposed fare hike from the CTA. Say what you will, at least it's not another Doomsday Prophecy. The CTA is still trying to close that pesky budget gap that may go as high as $300 million and they've outlined a new list of proposed fare hikes in a plan that was printed as an ad in today's Chicago Tribune. In addition to the fare hikes, the CTA is also proposing for a cut in service, mainly in the form of cutting back hours and nixing a few express bus routes.

So what, exactly, is the CTA proposing?

  • Raising all train and express bus route fares to $3 ($2.25 now)
  • Raising basic bus fares to $2.50 ($2.25 now)
  • Raising 7-day pass fares to $30 ($23 now)
  • Raising 30-day pass fares to $110 ($86 now)
  • Eliminating express bus routes: X3, X4, X9, X20, X49, X54, X55, X80 and 53 AL
  • Cutting back bus service hours by 13.7 percent (827,000 hours) and cutting back train service hours by 9.8 percent (57,803 hours)

Think the proposed hikes are okay or atrocious? You'll have a chance to share your thoughts with the CTA thanks to a few upcoming meetings. An informational meeting will be held on Thursday, October 29 at 6 p.m. at the Austin Town Hall (5610 W. Lake St.). In addition, the CTA will also hold two public hearings on the proposed budget:

  • Monday, November 2, 6 p.m., Lane Tech High School (2501 W. Addison St.)
  • Tuesday, November 3, 6 p.m., South Shore Cultural Center (7059 South Shore Drive)

Last week, the CTA announced a slew of cutbacks - including job cuts, furlough days, and unpaid holidays for non-union employees - in an attempt to save as much as $122 million.