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CTA's board approves $1.4 billion budget for 2013

The Chicago Transit Board has approved a $1.4 billion budget for 2013 that maintains service levels, freezes base fares and continues infrastructure investments for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

The budget will eliminate a projected deficit of $165 million through "management efficiencies, improved labor cost management and a slight increase in CTA fare passes to bring them in line with other major U.S. cities," CTA officials said in a prepared statement, adding that the fare hike will be the agency's first in four years.

Revenue from fare passes will increase by 10 percent. The 2013 budget is the second consecutive budget that preserves capital investment in CTA's bus and rail systems "for years to come by not diverting scare capital funds to balance the operating budget, a past practice that delayed critical infrastructure projects," agency officials said.

The fare increases will generate about $56 million in new revenue for the agency. Base fares will remain unchanged at $2.25 for rail and $2 for bus, but prices for three-day, seven-day and 30-day passes will increase by $6, $5 and $14 respectively. The one-day pass will increase to $10.

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More News from 12/20/2012