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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CTA proposes $1.3 billion budget, no fare or service changes


Yesterday, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Richard Rodriguez proposed a $1.3 billion fiscal-year 2011 budget that would maintain fares and service levels.

The proposed budget would be $66.7 million, or 5.2 percent, higher than the FY2010 budget in part because of contractually required union wage increases, and pension and healthcare obligations, CTA officials said in a prepared statement. The increases were partially offset by management efficiencies that are expected to save $54 million in 2011.

"In spite of significant fixed costs and steep declines in anticipated public funding, our objective has been to meet the challenges of the struggling economy without adversely impacting the current level and quality of service provided to customers,” Rodriguez said in a prepared statement. “Effective and disciplined management will be as essential in 2011 as it was in 2010.”

The public funding mark for FY2011 set by the Regional Transportation Authority is $529.3 million, $92.5 million lower than in 2008 and $257.9 million lower than projected following the passage of the state’s mass transit funding and reform bill in 2008. To make up the difference, CTA is proposing to transfer $113 million in eligible capital funds to the operating budget. In addition, due to a borrowing agreement between RTA and the state, CTA will receive $83 million in bond proceeds in exchange for not raising fares.

The FY2011 budget also proposes a $599.5 million capital improvement plan, including $285 million in new state funding.