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RAIL EMPLOYMENT



Rail News Home Financials

10/5/2011



Rail News: Financials

CTA facing $277 million deficit in 2012


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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is facing a $277 million budget deficit for 2012, the result of soaring labor costs and an end to years of borrowing, CTA President Forrest Claypool said in a prepared statement.

Claypool cited “archaic and expensive work rules, dramatically escalating pension and health care mandates, and the highest cost-adjusted rail and bus operator salaries in the nation” as reasons for the deficit. In addition, CTA’s labor costs are “unsustainable,” he said.

The agency has an operating budget of $1.35 billion. Noting that CTA has borrowed $554 million during the past four years to cover operating deficits, Claypool said it was time to address the CTA’s “broken fiscal system.”

“We can’t defer the hard decisions any longer,” Claypool said. “The CTA’s cost structure is too high given the revenues and tax receipts we have to operate it. Changes are needed now to shore up the CTA’s fiscal situation.”

Despite the shortfall, the agency is trying to improve infrastructure and safety. Two weeks ago, CTA officials unveiled a station renewal program designed to clean and repair 100 stations during the next 12 months. In addition, the agency plans to add up to 50 full-time police officers in 2012 and double the number of security cameras along the system by year’s end.


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