CHICAGO (CBS) — While Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not ruling out a possible fare increase for the Chicago Transit Authority, he says he is not willing to support that move just yet.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) pressured the CTA to raise fares, but Dorval Carter, CTA President, says that should only be a last report. Furthermore, Emanuel is telling the team at the CTA at least one possible idea for budget savings is “100 percent off the table.”
“There will be no service cuts. I’ve been very clear that the one thing that is definitely, 100 percent off the table are any service cuts,” the mayor said Wednesday after a City Council meeting. “Two, I want you to report back what is in the central office that can be eliminated, cut or pulled back from. Until that’s done, there will be no discussion with me.”
Monday, Chicago aldermen advanced the tax and fee increases in Emanuel’s proposed 2018 budget, but several expressed hesitation about city revenue earmarked for the CTA.
Ald. Brendan Reilly, for example, was fairly blunt. He says, philosophically, city funds should not go to government entities when the city has no controls. He added that the CTA is not accountable to the City of Chicago on how it spends its money.
Emanuel’s 2018 budget would add 15 cents to every trip on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and another nickel in 2019. Chicago Transit Authority Chief of Staff Sylvia Garcia says the money would help with track improvements.
The CTA has not raised fares since 2009. Most alderman WBBM Newsradio spoke with say they can see why a hike may be necessary. All, however, agreed that they don’t want to see service cuts for their residents.