Transit officials and Gov. Pat Quinn have reached agreement on a deal that will avoid a threatened Chicago Transit Authority fare hike, both in 2010 and 2011.That's all fine and good, but we really need to address the whole free rides for seniors deal. Things will turn around eventually especially this economy, but the long-term financial health of the CTA should continue to be at the top of the list. What can CTA afford and what can't CTA afford?
According to reliable sources, the deal involves the Regional Transportation Authority issuing bonds for capital projects that would be funneled to the CTA. That would allow the CTA to shift some federal capital funds into its cash-short operating budget, thereby avoiding the necessity to hike fares.
As part of the deal, the state reportedly would help the CTA pay debt service on the RTA funds for at least a couple of years. Other monies would go to Pace, which has had trouble financing its para-transit operation.
Sources said the deal is to be formally announced at a press conference featuring Mr. Quinn and transit leaders as soon as Wednesday afternoon.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Deal reportedly reached to avoid CTA fare hike