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No Fare Hikes, More Trains In Proposed CTA Budget

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 27, 2014 6:00PM

Photo credit: Tripp Johnson

Chicago Transit Authority is holding the line on fares and adding more train service in its proposed 2015 budget. The agency is crowing about how the $1.44 billion budget is balanced for a fourth consecutive year, thanks in part to higher Regional Transportation Authority sales tax revenue, and increases spending by 4.5 percent.

Much of that spending is going toward adding rail service, some of which have already been implemented. The Purple Line has one extra evening rush trip. The Brown Line has an added morning rush train and the Red Line has two added rush-period trips. Starting Nov. 2, Brown Line service will see five weekday evening trips and a longer range of service from Kimball to downtown on Sundays. Brown Line shuttles currently operating between Kimball and Belmont between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., and from 11:50 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. will be extended to downtown instead of ending at Belmont.

The Orange Line will have 12 trips on its route between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. CTA will add two extra rush-period trips on the Blue and Orange Lines next year for travelers heading to O’Hare and Midway Airports.

CTA President Forrest Claypool is touting this budget as a good news scenario that takes “a close look at every facet of our organization to determine what’s working well and what isn’t. We’ve implemented many management reforms that have reduced waste and trimmed spending, while upholding service and fare levels for our customers and creating permanent jobs that better serve passengers.”

While the rail system will see more trains, CTA is not restoring previously eliminated services, so don’t hold out hope for a return of the Lincoln Avenue bus.