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The Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) board last week approved a $1.57 billion operating budget for 2020 and a $5.1 billion budget for capital improvements in 2020-24.
Expenses for the 2020 operating budget are $18.4 million higher than the 2019 budget and $44.5 million higher than the 2019 forecast. The majority of the increase is due to rising pension, health insurance and workers’ compensation costs, according to the budget proposal document.
The operating budget includes more than $26 million in cost savings and operational efficiencies, including a hiring freeze for 200 positions.
Meanwhile, through the capital budget CTA will invest $310 million into the Red Line Extension project, an initiative that will extend the Red Line South by 5.3 miles and include four stations and $78 million to make all rail stations accessible.
Other capital projects to continue or begin in 2020 include the first phase of the Red and Purple Modernization Program; improvements to stations, track, infrastructure and signaling on the Blue Line’s O’Hare branch; and delivery of 10 prototypes of the 7000-series rail car.