CTA hints at fare hike in 2009

CHICAGO Huberman said he blames increased fuel prices and electrical costs.

"Ultra-low diesel, which is what we use on our buses, has increased 80 percent. Next year, we will be spending $50 million more for the same quantity of fuel than we spent the prior year. Electrical costs are coming in over 25 percent higher than they were the prior year. That means that we will be spending $7 million more just for electricity," said Huberman.

Huberman stopped short of saying the fare hike was certain; nor did he say how much more it could cost passengers to take a train or bus. That information is expected to be released next Thursday when the CTA budget is unveiled.

The last fare hike was three years ago in 2006.

In September, the CTA cut $40 million from its budget by eliminating 43 jobs with plans to eliminate even more. The transit company is also incurring these outlined cost-cutting initiatives:

  • deferring contract spending for non critical needs;
  • changing the labor mix to reduce reliance on overtime;
  • reducing bus maintenance costs through fleet upgrades and more efficient preventative maintenance practices; and
  • using technology to improve the efficiency of bus supervision, making supervisors mobile instead of stationary.
  • Related link: transitchicago.com

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