CTA board postpones budget meeting

November 12, 2008 8:44:16 AM PST
The Chicago Transit Authority board has postponed its meeting scheduled for today. The board was supposed to discuss a possible fare increase. The CTA unveiled the plan last month.

Under the plan, Chicago Card users will have to pay $2.25 to ride the 'L'. That is a 50-cent increase. The cost to catch a bus will be $2, which is a quarter increase, and customers using cash will have to pay $2.25. If approved, the fare hikes will go into effect in January.

"While any fare increase is incredibly difficult to put forth, we know times are difficult, we know it will cause a hardship, but we simply felt we had no choice," said Ron Huberman, CTA President.

The CTA says the fare increases are needed to close a $42 billion budget gap.

The transit agency has already cut jobs to save money but that is apparently not enough. The CTA is dealing with increased fuel and electricity costs, a drop in revenue from the city's real estate transfer tax and an increase cost from the governor's free rides for seniors program.

"If we had been hit by any one of these factors, we could have managed through it. It was that they were all hitting simultaneously," said Huberman.

"We have already been through enough fare increases. I don't think we should go through any more," said Jason Purnell, CTA rider.

If the budget is approved, the CTA will also discontinue discounts for Chicago Card users. A 30-day unlimited ride card would go up from $75 to $90.


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