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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CTA balances operating budget despite second drop in public funding


For the second time this year, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is amending its operating budget because of funding reductions imposed by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).

Yesterday, CTA’s board approved a budget amendment to incorporate a new reduction of $35.2 million in public funding. Earlier this year, RTA reduced the authority’s funding by $154.7 million. So far, the agency’s public funding has been reduced 25 percent to $541.4 million from the RTA’s original earmarks.

However, CTA officials project that the authority will manage the additional funding loss without increasing fares or cutting service. Strong ridership and revenue performance in the first half, coupled with strict cost controls, have enabled the authority to balance its budget, they said in a prepared statement.

“Continued fiscal discipline has put us in the position to be able to manage through this latest reduction in funding without impacting customers,” said CTA Chairman Carole Brown. “But let’s be clear, there is no margin for error going forward.”

The CTA has identified additional cost-saving measures, including continued labor expense controls and the elimination of non-essential travel.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/16/2009