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CTA maps out additional cost-cutting measures for 2010


Next year, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) plans to implement a series of cost-cutting measures to reduce a projected $300 million revenue shortfall resulting from lower-than-expected tax revenue.

The agency again will defer merit pay increases and institute more furlough days and unpaid holidays for non-union employees. In addition, the CTA plans to eliminate at least 70 non-union jobs, and reduce intern and fellows programs to save about $21.6 million. The proposed job reductions would reduce the non-union workforce by 17 percent since 2007.

The CTA also is reaching out to its unions — which represent about 90 percent of the agency’s workforce — to help reduce costs in 2010. Union members received a 3 percent wage increase in 2009 and are scheduled to receive a 3.5 percent hike next year.

Other cost-cutting measures include scaling back contracts, reducing expenditures and hedging fuel to save an estimated $10.5 million. The CTA also will transfer $90 million in eligible capital funds to the operating budget for preventive maintenance to reduce the budget shortfall by $122 million.

“Public funding has been especially weak. This year, CTA’s tax-funded revenues were 34 percent lower than anticipated when the budget was developed, and next year will be even worse,” said CTA President Richard Rodriguez in a prepared statement. “We have to make the tough management decisions and continue to cut costs internally.”

The agency already has taken many belt-tightening steps this year, such as limiting overtime, implementing a hiring freeze on non-essential personnel, reducing all department budgets, using capital investments to lower operating costs, and requiring furlough and unpaid days for management.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/8/2009