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CTA proposes FY2004 budget


Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently unveiled its preliminary $936.6 million fiscal-year 2004 operating budget — an increase of 1.3 percent compared with FY2003.

When CTA began its budget process in August, the authority was facing an $88 million operating shortfall for 2004. Sales tax and fare revenues were down, resulting in a $30.9 million decline in system-generated revenues. And in 2004, CTA expects to receive $11.9 million less funding from the Regional Transit Authority compared with 2003.

The proposed budget includes a 25-cent basic fare increase — the agency’s first in more than 10 years — which is expected to generate an additional $30 million in revenue. In 2003, ridership dropped following five years of increases. The authority is projecting minimal ridership growth next year, and plans to cut 400 positions by the end of 2004.

The budget also includes an $801.3 million capital-improvement plan — the authority’s largest-ever. The capital budget includes funds for the Cermak (Douglas) Blue Line rehabilitation, Brown Line Capacity Expansion Project, new AC traction motor-propulsion rail cars, 2,500 new fareboxes, renovating the Howard "L" Station on the Red Line, rehabilitating and replacing escalators, and implementing the Chicago Card Plus.

CTA needs $5 billion during the next five years to bring the system into a state of good repair, according to a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/10/2003