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Illinois Owes RTA $290 Million, Promises to Clear Debt By Year-End

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 15, 2010 6:40PM

Photo by: vxla
The Gordian Knot that is Illinois' budget deficit continues to grow to the point where not even bold moves can solves it. The latest addition to the woes is the $289.3 million in delinquent finding from Springfield to the Regional Transportation Authority for this year. That's in addition to $124 million the state owes RTA for next year.

RTA is hoping that they can ring in 2011 with a balanced budget, as required by law, and Gov. Quinn has promised that RTA will get what's coming to them by year-end. Short of a long night at the Elgin casino we can't possibly fathom how this is going to happen. Our guess is that Quinn is going to have to rob Peter to pay Paul again and borrow against something.

Which is what RTA has been doing to maintain operating. They've borrowed from banks to the tune of $400 million so far this year to shore up the budgets until Springfield comes up with the cash. And RTA needs to start repaying on those loans in February

If you're like us and have been wondering why there has been this recent spate of equipment malfunctions on the trains, most recently yesterday's report of smoke at the Roosevelt Red Line subway station that forced train evacuations and re-routed the Red Line to the elevated tracks, this gives you a glimpse of how deep in the weeds RTA really is.