Regional Transportation Authority
The Chicago Board of Education is borrowing $1 billion. City Hall is contemplating a property tax hike. Cook County may raise the sales tax by one percent — again. But at Chicago’s mass transit agencies there is no panic and it is business as usual.
The region’s top transit official warned Thursday that CTA, Metra, and Pace fare hikes and service cuts would be “difficult to avoid” if the legislature enacts budget cuts proposed in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget.
The draconian cut in state aid to the CTA proposed in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget might be even bigger than first thought.
A Regional Transportation Authority analysis released Thursday has determined that the CTA, Metra and Pace face $36.4 billion in capital needs over the next 10 years.
Chicago-area commuters have never seen anything like it. Metra has proposed fare increases averaging 10.8 percent, starting in February, with the guarantee of additional increases every year through 2024.
The CTA hopes to attract more riders by speeding up its buses, and giving buses green light priority over other vehicles is a key part of that strategy, but it says it is encountering problems obtaining federal grant money that’s been in the hands of the Regional Transportation Authority since 2012.
Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard, who made two attempts at Illinois governor, officially resigned from the Legislature after more than two decades in office to become chairman of the Chicago-area’s Regional Transportation Authority, Senate Republican officials announced Monday.
RTA Chairman John Gates said he wants the agency to concentrate on what he considers doable — and said his priority remains finding new money for capital repairs and rehabilitation.
The agency that oversees public transportation in Chicago is suing American Airlines for falsely claiming to buy “vast amounts of jet fuel” from a small office in a rural community to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in taxes in the nation’s third-largest city, where the actual work is done.
Metra soon hopes to give you E-alerts about trains at specific times, not just for specific lines.
A union official on Thursday showed reporters a photograph of a Ventra card that worked –- despite having a negative balance of $272.50.
The agreement kept intact the historic division of the supposedly discretionary funds: 98 percent to the CTA, 2 percent to Pace, while essentially forgiving a $56 million loan to the CTA that CTA has characterized as a grant and offering Metra $2 million for capital projects.
Pace is the first of the area’s transit systems to unveil a proposed 2014 budget, and it holds the line on most fares while promising additional service.
Regional Transportation Authority board member William Coulson said former Metra chair Brad O’Halloran and director Larry Huggins sparked a clash with former CEO Alex Clifford over political hires at the agency.
Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed former U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald and former CTA Board chair Carole Brown to a panel tasked with recommending reforms for the Chicago area’s public transit agencies, in the wake of patronage allegations at Metra.
A government watchdog group said Wednesday that the resignations of two Regional Transportation Authority board members this week pointed to larger, troubling issues for the Chicago area’s transit agencies.
A state lawmaker thinks the Metra chairman’s violation of a ban on outside government pay should be the last straw for the entire Metra board.
Democratic candidate for governor Bill Daley said the Regional Transportation Authority – which oversees the finances of CTA, Pace and Metra – has reached the end of the line, and should be eliminated.
Metra has asked former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins to conduct an independent investigation of former CEO Alex Clifford’s patronage hiring allegations.
Former Metra CEO Alex Clifford said Wednesday he does not believe House Speaker Michael Madigan broke any laws by requesting a pay raise for a political supporter, but believes it was “an ethical and moral character flaw.”