Saturday, February 13, 2010

Free CTA Rides for Seniors May End

Is this a good idea?
Seniors may not be able to ride Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses for free much longer. Illinois lawmakers are moving forward to cut the program. The proposal would allow some low income seniors to ride free if they sign up for the Circuit Breaker program.

Cynthia Soto represents the West Town neighborhood in Chicago. She says there's a lot of paperwork with Circuit Breaker.

SOTO: It asks for a lot of information that they don't want to do, maybe they think it's too time consuming, maybe that they're not going to qualify...So there's people that do it and do apply for the circuit breaker, but there's so many other people who sometimes don't even know they have to go through that to get to the free rides.
So, to be honest I was always against it when it was first proposed by Ousted governor Rod Blagojevich. Any attempt to remove the program I can support unfortunately that move slowed down because now we're in an election year. There are some politicos who don't want to touch it. Unfortunately it comes at an expense.

UPDATE 3:54 PM More CTA News, the unions are threatening a work slowdown:
CTA bus riders will have to wait even longer to get picked up if drivers follow through on a threat to ease off their accelerators as part of a work slowdown to try to force the transit agency's leadership to make concessions in an ongoing labor impasse.

Bus union president Darrell Jefferson said today that if there's no agreement soon to restore service cuts he will ask his membership to adhere strictly to CTA rules, including a 35-mile-per-hour speed limit. Bus drivers rarely stay below that limit now, Jefferson said, because if they did they wouldn't be able to finish their routes in a timely fashion and riders would see significantly larger gaps between buses.

Drivers also would follow other rules to the letter, such as waiting until all riders are seated or "standing securely" before leaving a stop and sitting at intersections with stale green lights rather than driving through, Jefferson said.

"If we do what we're supposed to do (according to CTA rules), you would never get a bus down the street," Jefferson said after a news conference at Operation PUSH headquarters with Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Jefferson said officials with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241 hope to meet with CTA officials Wednesday, but if no agreement is reached then, he said the slowdown could be the next step.
A move to restore service cuts and force concessions on CTA management. Let's see how this goes.

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