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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CTA unveils operating, capital budget proposals

The 2019 operating budget does not call for a fare hike.
Photo – CTA


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) late last week proposed a five-year $2.9 billion capital budget and a one-year $1.55 billion operating budget that maintains existing service levels without raising fares.

The proposed operating budget for 2019 calls for maintaining existing service levels without raising fares. It invests in modernizing the CTA's system and improving the rider experience, agency officials said in a press release.

The 2019 budget includes more than $20 million in cost savings and operational efficiencies. Those cost-cutting steps include freezing hiring for 150 positions and locking in fuel and power costs at "historically low prices," CTA officials said.

However, cost savings aren't enough to address agency's financial challenges, they added.

"The reduced state funding to support our day-to-day operations, combined with the lack of state funding for our capital projects, is unprecedented," said CTA President Dorval Carter Jr., adding that Illinois last passed a capital funding bill to support infrastructure investments in 2009.

Meanwhile, the CTA's capital budget for 2019-2023 includes projects to rehabilitate rail stations and build new ones, modernize rail and bus fleets, remove rail slow zones and add new technologies.

Among capital projects to continue or begin in 2019, the CTA will complete its new 95th Street Terminal on the Red Line and advance work on the first phase of the Red and Purple Modernization program. Next year, the agency also will take delivery of the first prototype of 7000-series rail car, the CTA's latest generation rail car.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/22/2018