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Claypool Lists Litany of Problems at CTA

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 4, 2011 3:40PM

Image Credit: Ruben Goff

We don't envy CTA President Forrest Claypool, who is going to have to make some tough decisions when he presents his first draft for next year's budget. Claypool told the City Club of Chicago yesterday the transit agency faces a $277 million budget gap next year and CTA has reached its legal borrowing ceiling.

Claypool's proposed budget is expected to call for both a fare hike and service cuts. The last time both of those happened was in 2009. Claypool also cited a Tribune story that indicated part of the problem with canceled bus and train runs is chronic absenteeism within the transit agency. The Tribune's analysis showed riders are more likely to experience canceled train and bus runs during the Monday and Friday rush periods, evidence that CTA employees were using those days to extend their weekends. CTA has spent $40 million in 2011 to staff extra workers due to the absenteeism rates.

Claypool said the reports serve as reason to cut costs and getting rid of "archaic and expensive work rules" to cut costs and confront lower revenues.