CTA pass discounts, no service cuts in 2022 budget proposal

CTA transfer fee also eliminated in most cases
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The CTA said Thursday morning there will be no service cuts or fare increases in its budget proposal for 2022. In fact, there are new discounts on passes.

The $1.75 billion operating budget proposal looks to reflect the more flexible work environment that many employers have put into place, and to continue encouraging a return to ridership as more Chicagoans resume their normal day-to-day activities, CTA officials said.

Though CTA ridership grew throughout 2021, it remains at roughly half of pre-pandemic levels, according to the CTA.

In 2022, the CTA will make permanent the promotional discounts currently offered on its unlimited ride one-, three- and seven-day passes: The one-day pass is now $5, down from $10; the three-day pass is $15, down from $20; and the seven-day pass is $20, down from $28.

The CTA is also lowering its 30-day full-fare pass price to $75, from $105; the 30-day reduced-fare pass price to $35, from $50; and the CTA-Pace seven-day pass will be reduced to $25, from $33.

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And, lastly, the CTA will eliminate the 25-cent charge when transferring between CTA buses and trains or vice versa: Customers will now have two free transfers within a two-hour period of their first paid ride.

Federal funding from the American Rescue Plan will help the CTA close a projected $456 million budget gap in 2022 and allow the agency to continue providing full service, CTA officials said.

Other capital projects to continue or begin in 2022 include:

  • All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), to make CTA's rail system 100% vertically accessible.

  • Blue Line Forest Park Branch track and power improvements, the first phase of a comprehensive rebuild.

  • Expansion of electric bus fleet, part of CTA's commitment to complete the electrification of the entire bus fleet by the year 2040.

  • Refresh & Renew, an expanded and accelerated rail station improvement program.

  • Better Streets for Buses, a comprehensive, citywide plan for bus-priority streets.
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