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CTA proposes two FY2005 budgets


Yesterday, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) unveiled two budget proposals for fiscal-year 2005 — one that anticipates additional funds and one that doesn’t.

The authority’s final budget will depend on whether or not the Illinois General Assembly modifies the current funding structure to provide additional public transit funding. If no additional funds are provided, CTA will face a significant budget deficit and be forced to cut service, officials said last month.

CTA’s first proposal recommends an operating budget of $1.02 billion that would include a public funding level of $524 million — an increase of $82.5 million compared with 2004. The additional funds would enable the authority to maintain current service levels and continue developing service improvements to increase ridership, such as adding weekend service on the Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line.

To rein in expenses, CTA has proposed eliminating 200 positions in FY2005, and increasing selected fares and fees, such as the University Pass and parking fees.

The second proposal — which doesn't include additional state funds — recommends a $912 million operating budget, including a $55 million budget deficit. The authority would address the deficit through service cuts and layoffs. More than one-fifth of existing rail and bus service would be eliminated by January 2005 — affecting all routes — and up to 1,000 jobs would be cut.

This month, CTA is holding public hearings to solicit comments on both budget proposals.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/5/2004