Friday, November 30, 2007

Let's talk about the transit issue

Well just to let you know doomsday is far from over for those of us who ride the CTA. Since the summer the CTA has made plans that threaten to cut service (we might be talking about schedules and routes), raise fares, and layoff workers. The Governor has come to the rescue on two occasions finding money from somewhere (let me get back to you on where exactly) but what is needed is a permanent solution to funding the CTA. What probably could have helped this situation failed to pass the Illinois House. From the Tribune...

State lawmakers went home Thursday with nothing to show for two days of special sessions but promising to keep working toward an agreement on mass transit aid for Chicago and construction projects statewide.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich let legislators leave but said he would call daily special sessions up until the holidays if negotiations with legislative leaders don't produce a breakthrough soon.

"At the end of the day, in the final analysis, we've got to get a solution for the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority), the Legislature has to pass a solution for the CTA before Christmas," Blagojevich said at a news conference outside his Capitol office.

Lawmakers left town grumbling about being called into special session by Blagojevich only to continue the squabbling that has blocked progress on both issues for months.

Senators met both days only briefly and took no floor action. The House shot down late Wednesday a plan Blagojevich backed to help Chicago's mass transit systems by shifting state gasoline sales tax money.

Downstate lawmakers whose votes are needed for a mass transit bailout refuse to support it unless a deal also is reached on billions of dollars in road, school and government projects throughout Illinois.

Top legislators continue to work out details of such a plan and the massive gambling expansion eyed to pay for it, but those complex negotiations will still take some time.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, sent his members home Thursday morning until January, although he cautioned they could be called back to work quickly if a deal emerges.
Are you a transit rider? If you are perhaps you need to sound off on this issue. What do you think about this current transit crisis?


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