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Claypool: CTA Job Cuts To Save $13 Million A Year

roberts250 Bob Roberts
Bob Roberts is a native of Wilmette who has worked in Chicago media...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – CTA will shrink its work force beginning in November by a little more than one percent.

The layoffs and job eliminations are projected to save the cash-strapped agency $13 million a year.

CTA will eliminate 149 positions, 104 of which are currently filled. CTA VP/Human Relations Omar Brown said for most, their last day will be Veterans Day.

“These are not customer-facing roles,” he said. “There will be no impact on bus or rail service. Those roles also do not involve safety and security.”

About a third of the jobs are going away because of the transition to the Ventra card system, which takes CTA out of the fare-collection business. Some will get the chance to reapply for 30 new jobs.

CTA continues to get a dribble of complaints, but says the overall switch to Ventra is going well. CTA President Forrest Claypool said Wednesday that more than 10 percent of fares are already being paid using Ventra cards, which continue to go into the mail at the rate of 15,000 a day.

Currently, CTA has 11,361 employees in its payroll, including more than 10,000 union employees. Claypool said the layoffs are not expected to have much impact on CTA’s 2013 budget, which continues to show a deficit of close to $10 million because its financial team misjudged the impact of the January increase in pass prices. Despite that, Claypool said CTA remains on track to finish the year with a balanced budget.