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CTA proposes 2009 budget, as well as job cuts, fare hike


Yesterday, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) unveiled a proposed $1.3 billion 2009 budget that calls for maintaining service levels, while implementing a fare hike and cutting hundreds of jobs.

To help make up for lower-than-expected sales tax revenue, higher costs and a state-mandated free rides program, the authority has proposed eliminating 632 jobs, including 396 administrative and support staff workers and 236 capital projects positions.

CTA also proposed raising base fares by 25 cents and increasing pass prices accordingly. The fare hike, which would take effect in January, is expected to generate about $42 million annually, CTA  officials believe.

The authority also proposed a $3 billion 2009-2013 Capital Improvement Program, the majority of which would be used to fund "slow zone" elimination projects, renew assets, overhaul and replace the fleet, and bring the system to a state of good repair. In addition, the program includes $40 million to complete the Brown Line capacity expansion project.

CTA still is awaiting a new state capital funding program, which it hopes to have in place by 2010. In all, the authority has a total of $6.8 billion in unfunded capital needs. In addition, CTA needs $4.3 billion for expansion projects, such as the Circle Line, and the Red, Orange and Yellow line extensions.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/10/2008