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12/15/2017



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Chicago RTA OKs $3 billion in transit operating budgets


Metra will be among Chicago's transit agencies that will raise fares in 2018.
Photo – Metra

Chicago's Regional Transit Authority (RTA) yesterday adopted 2018 operating budgets for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace totaling $3 billion.

The budgets mark the first time in nine years in which all three agencies' boards proposed a fare increase, RTA officials said in a press release.

RTA's board authorized operating budgets of $514 billion for CTA; $797 million for Metra; $232 million for the Pace suburban bus service; $179 million for Pace regional paratransit service; and $3 million for RTA.

Additionally, the board adopted a $4.2 billion five-year capital program, which includes $1.2 billion in capital expenditures for 2018. For the fourth consecutive year, RTA officials are not expected to receive new capital money from Illinois state sources.

RTA officials estimate that in order to address the region's growing backlog of capital needs, the region should invest $2 billion to $3 billion annually.

“The 2018 budgeting and capital planning process was exceptionally challenging. Each service board tackled these obstacles by making difficult decisions and, when possible, mitigating the negative impact on riders,” said RTA Executive Director Leanne Redden. “In order to produce balanced operating budgets as required by law, the budget approved by the RTA board today includes fare increases for CTA, Metra and Pace that are unavoidable in light of current challenging economic factors and cuts in state funding.”

CTA will implement a 25-cent increase in the base fare for bus and rail rides, a $5 increase in the cost of a 30-day pass, and higher reduced-fare rides by 10 cents to 15 cents to partially offset funding cuts from the state, RTA officials said.

Metra will increase by 25 cents the cost of one-way fares in all fare zones. The price of 10‐ride tickets will increase by a range of $4.25 to $7.75, and monthly passes will increase by a range of $9 to $12.50. 



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