Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm: CTA Still a Better Deal Than Driving

Mayor defends CTA pass increases

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Mayor defends CTA pass increases by comparing costs to the price of gas.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a message for people complaining about CTA pass increases -- see how much money you'd save by driving instead.

Last week, CTA president Forrest Claypool proposed a budget that will increase the cost of a one-day pass from $5.75 to $10, three-day passes from $14 to $20, weekly passes from $23 to $28 and 30-day passes from $86 to $100.

Emanuel defended the changes by pointing out that the base fare of $2.25 will not change over the next four years, and contrasting the stability of buying individual fares to the rising cost of gas.

"Right now (gas prices) are dropping, but if you're willing to take a bet like that over the next four years you'll see that the card -- which I took the CTA today -- the card is still cheaper, and will still be cheaper than it was just 5-6-7 years ago," Emanuel said.

Emanuel also said the new CTA contract doesn't siphon funds that can be used to pay for public transportation improvements.

Officials believe the changes will increase revenue by $56 million next year.

The new fares could take affect in the middle of January following approval by the Cook County Board, the CTA Board and the RTA Board.

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