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.
Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool said Wednesday that the agency has found the $80 million it needs to avert fare hikes and service cuts the rest of this year — without labor concessions.
Riders told Metra’s chief executive officer at a public hearing in Homewood on Wednesday that the fare increases the agency has proposed are too much.
Today is the day that CTA riders learn whether they will have to endure fare hikes and service cuts when the transit agency announces its budget plan for next year.
CTA officials still won’t say if the agency’s 2012 budget contains fare hikes, service cuts or both. But they are making it clear that the budgeting process has not been an easy one.
Metra is asking riders to dig deeper in their pockets. Fares could go up as much as 20 percent next year. There’s also talk of service cuts, but there’s no talk of eliminating a major perk for some of the agency’s administrators and staff – free take-home cars.
Metra wants to hear from you on the possibility of fare hikes and service cuts, and it doesn’t matter if you ride Metra daily or never come within miles of a commuter train.
Metra is preparing riders for higher fares and possible service cuts next year.
The Regional Transportation Authority is warning that the CTA, Metra and Pace may have to undertake emergency fare hikes and service cuts as soon as next month.
Metra CEO Alex Clifford is weighing a plan to cut service and raise fares as early as July, to offset recent high fuel costs. Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports.
The Chicago Transit Authority passed a new budget plan Wednesday that will not hike fares, nor cut service levels.