Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CTA: Big money woes could mean another doomsday

The CTA says it's facing another possible doomsday.

Officials said today they are looking at a likely $87 million budget shortfall this year and $155 million next year.

They blamed a loss of public funding from the Regional Transportation Authority.And things could get worse, as unemployment cuts into ridership, and falling tax receipts eat into CTA revenues.

"The challenge we have may be even larger," Dorval Carter, acting CTA president, told the transit agency's board this morning.
More from the Tribune:
The RTA notified the CTA last week that public funding for 2008 has been decreased by $58 million, accounting for most of the $87 million deficit for the year.

The CTA made internal cuts and raised fares in January to close what it thought was its budget gap.

In addition, the CTA should expect to receive $155 million less than originally projected in public funding this year, the RTA said.

The combined shortfall for both years totals $242 million.

The cutbacks are the result of declines in sales tax and real estate transfer tax revenues, due to the sagging economy.

CTA officials said they will seek additional funding from the RTA to avert a crisis that could otherwise lead to wide-ranging service cuts and hefty fare increases.
There have been stories about the financial picture at the CTA. And some of the stories I've seen seems to suggest that RTA is holding some funds back. Either way raising fares last year wasn't enough apparently.

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