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5/29/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CTA drafts contingency plan to balance 2007 budget



The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will need to eliminate jobs, raise fares, cut service and transfer capital funds to the operating budget if the agency doesn’t receive at least $97.5 million in additional public funds to balance its 2007 budget. CTA previously proposed a 2007 budget that anticipated an additional $110 million in public funding, but its governing body the Regional Transportation Authority recently requested a contingency plan in case the funds are not available.

Under the contingency plan, the authority would freeze wages for non-union employees, eliminate 27 positions, and implement graduated furlough days for non-union employees earning at least $50,000 annually. CTA also would suspend Purple Express rush hour and Yellow Line service.

In addition, rail cash fares would increase from $2 to $2.50 in off-peak hours, and to $3.25 during peak periods. CTA would double transfers from 25 cents to 50 cents, and hike unlimited ride pass prices an average of 63 percent.

Finally, the authority proposed transferring $56.9 million in capital funds earmarked to renovate rail cars and buses to the operating budget.

The contingency plan will be considered by CTA's board.



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