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As Pace Struggles, CTA Claims "No Major Delays" After Doomsday Day One

By Lindsey Miller in News on Feb 9, 2010 4:40PM

Photo by Phototravel1
There were fewer trains and buses and the ones that did run were more crowded, but CTA President Richard Rodriguez called the first full work day with reduced CTA services a "typical Monday" and the CTA reported "no major delays."

But today's snowfall won't make things any easier, even as the CTA and unions prepare to meet tomorrow about a possible concession deal that could restore most of the cuts that went into place Sunday. The Amalgamated Transit Union Locals 241 and 308 has proposed a concession deal that would include a 10-day unpaid furlough for all union workers and deferred pay raises through 2013. This would provide $90.6 million of the $95 million budget hole the CTA is trying to fill. So far, union leaders aren't making any promises, though. Rodriguez has said that if a deal is reached, it would take about a week for laid-off employees to be reinstated and service to be restored.

But that's not going to help the suburban riders who rely on the Pace bus to get around. Pace cut 15 bus routes and reduced service on nine others beginning Sunday. Most of the cut bus routes feed into Metra stations. Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot says "We have a lot of pockets in the suburbs where there is demand, but not enough for us to operate the service." Pace cut service not to fill a budget shortfall but to save riders from a fare hike--the cuts will save the service about $1.5 million. More details about the changes in service can be found on the Pace website.

Back in the city, commuters' reactions to the CTA "doomsday" were varied. Chicagoist commenters didn't experience too many changes to their commutes yesterday, though some had to wait a little longer for a more-crowded bus or train. Some Chicago Tribune and RedEye readers, however, reported much longer wait-times, especially during off hours.