There may not be any fare hikes, but the service cuts proposed for the Chicago Transit Authority in October will soon become a reality.
The Regional Transportation Authority on Thursday approved the CTA's $1.27 billion budget for 2010.
Service reductions are planned to go into effect on February 7, 2010. Nine express bus routes that have corresponding local service will be eliminated (X3, X4, X9, X20, X49, X54, X55, X80 and 53 AL), 41 bus routes will either start service later or end earlier, or both, and frequency of service during off-peak hours will also be implemented to reduce costs.
CTA sent more than 1,000 lay-off notices to employees this month.
"None of the decisions have been easy and although we have been able to spare riders a fare increase, the service reductions will impact both riders and CTA employees,"said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez.
The agency says its 2010 operating budget is nearly $1 million lower than the projected 2009 operating budget.
In November, a funding agreement brokered by Governor Quinn’s office helped CTA to avoid a fare increase proposed for 2010, and any potential fare increase for 2011.
The CTA is continuing discussions with its labor unions on ways to reduce costs and save jobs.