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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) late last week proposed a $1.475 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2016 that leaves base fares unchanged for the fifth year in a row.The proposal maintains or improves service while continuing investments toward modernizing the agency and enhancing customer experience, CTA officials said in a news release. In 2016, CTA will continue working on more than $5 billion in system improvement projects, including rehabilitating rail stations or building new ones, modernizing rail and bus fleets, adding technologies to improve the commuting experience, and bringing the agency's infrastructure into a state of good repair. Also for a fifth straight year, the agency will not transfer capital funds to cover operating costs, CTA officials said. As part of its efforts to streamline management and non-union personnel, the CTA will eliminate 100 positions in non-customer-facing areas. The move is aimed at maintaining a better management-to-worker ratio, agency officials said. The agency's proposed 2016 budget takes into account a projected 0.7 percent growth in ridership.
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