CTA wants 25-cent fare hike

October 9, 2008 3:01:29 PM PDT
Passengers may soon pay more to take the train or the bus. The Chicago Transit Authority wants to increase fares by 25 cents. If approved, the cost to ride the bus would go up to $2 and the cost to ride the train would go up to $2.25.

Last month, CTA officials said the increase was likely because of rising fuel costs and a program that allows senior citizens to ride for free.

The CTA has not raised fares in two years.

Some of the Proposed Increases

  • Full Fare Transit Card Bus Goes From 1.75 To 2.00
  • Full Fare Tc Rail Goes From 2.00 To 2.25
  • Full Fare Chicago Card Bus From 1.75 To 2.00
  • Full Fare Chicago Card Rail From 1.75 To 2.25
  • Full Fare Cash 2.00 To 2.25
  • Chicago Card Bonus From 10% To Eliminated
  • Reduced Fares Are Unchanged
  • Cardholders will also pay the new fares - an increase of 50 cents for them on the L.

    The extra money is apparently needed to close a $42 million budget deficit.

    "Any fare increase is incredibly difficult. We simply felt we had no choice," said CTA president Ron Huberman.

    The CTA says it needs to hike fares because its bus fuel costs will go up $54 million over last year. The cost of electricity is up, and the free rides program for seniors and the disabled amounts to $36 million in revenue lost.

    "Had we been hit by any one of those factors we could've made it through, but we were hit by them all at once," said Huberman.

    The CTA is cutting 396 jobs from its operating budget. Those are mostly administrative and some maintenance positions. It's also cutting another 236 jobs including ironworkers from its capital budget. Because there's no capital money coming in, there's no money to pay them.

    "The most important point of what we heard today is that the CTA is not cutting service," said Laurence Msall, Civic Federation.

    The taxpayer watchdogs at the Civic Federation applauded the CTA for its job cuts and say they'll likely support the fare increase.

    "I'm not sure why they're raising prices, but it's better than putting gas in the car every day," said Tim Spencer, CTA rider.

    "I'm not sure why they're raising the prices, but it's still better than putting gas in the car every day," said Tim Spencer, CTA rider.

    "It's not excessive. A $1 hike would be ridiculous; 25 cents is acceptable," said Ticarra Birmingham, CTA rider.

    "They can spend a lot of money to shorten time on three tracking, but they can't do things that would make our daily commute a lot better," said Kevin Black, CTA rider.

    Some riders say a fare hike is not justified unless there's a demonstrable improvement in service.

    "The reality of what the type of improvements our customers want to see is a modernized system, and that simply will not happen without a capital bill," said Huberman.

    For more on the budget, visit transitchicago.com


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