CHICAGO (CBS) — The CTA Board Wednesday afternoon approved the agency’s plan to increase bus and train fares next year.
It is the first CTA fare hike in eight years. Fares for buses and trains will go up 25 cents each, and the cost of monthly passes will go up $5.
According to the CTA’s budget proposal for next year, bus fares with a Ventra card will go up from $2.00 to $2.25. Cash fares will go up from $2.25 to $2.50. Train fares also will go up from $2.25 to $2.50. A 30-day unlimited ride pass will go up from $100 to $105.
Student fares will remain the same, however reduced fares for seniors and the disabled are going up 10-15 cents.
The CTA has said without the fare hike, the agency would have to turn to widespread service cuts in 2018 to balance the budget. Additionally, they insist several factors made the fare hike unavoidable: a loss of $33 million in state funding, as well as more people using ride-share services, such as Lyft and Uber, instead of taking the buses.
CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase says it came down to either a small fare increase or service cuts.
“First thing we did is we’re not cutting service. We’re keeping all bus and rail service the same. Second thing we did is we’re cutting $23 million out of budget next year.”
Opponents of the fare hike packed a public hearing at CTA headquarters Tuesday night. They said the increase is unnecessary, and would be unaffordable for many people who rely on CTA buses and trains.
Metra and Pace also have approved fare hikes for next year.
Metra will raise ticket prices next year on One-Way tickets by 25 cents in all zones, Monthly pass increases will range from from $9.00 to $12.50 — depending on the zone –and 10-ride ticket increases will be between $4.25 and $7.75.
Pace, which mostly serves the suburbs, has approved raising its bus fares from $1.75 to $2 next year.
Since the CTA board approved the plan, the RTA board – which oversees the budgets for the CTA, Metra, and Pace – will vote on Thursday.