Wednesday, March 11, 2009

CTA threatens fare hikes to close budget hole

The Chicago Transit Authority on Wednesday floated budget cuts and fare hikes, among other cost-saving measures, in an attempt to close the agency’s $155-million budget gap.
A CTA spokeswoman said agency staff will present details on the cost-cutting options to the board at its next meeting on April 8.

But even if $80 million in cuts is approved, the CTA will still face a $75-million shortfall, the spokeswoman said. The CTA may have to resort to service cuts and fare increases if it is unable to borrow additional money from the Regional Transportation Authority, she said.

The CTA receives much of its funding from sales and real estate taxes, both of which have decreased in the lagging economy. Estimated tax collections are down about 23% from the CTA’s original projection for 2009.

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