CTA Chief: No Fare Hikes This Year, Maybe Next

Budget deficits may mean fare hikes or service cuts for CTA next year

By Jennifer Schwarz
|  Thursday, Aug 11, 2011  |  Updated 1:29 PM CDT
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CTA Hiring 50 Cops to Patrol Public Transit

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Citizens Offering City Budget Ideas

The city's newly-launched interactive website, ChicagoBudget.org, has solicited ideas rangin from legalizing and taxing marijuana to adding vendors to CTA stations to reducing the number of police directing traffic to moving to paperless government.

CTA Hiring 50 Cops to Patrol Public Transit

In response to gangs of young punks storming Chicago Transit Authority buses, attacking passengers and stealing their cell phones, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday announced plans to hire 50 police officers to patrol El stations and bus stops.
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Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised voters four months ago he would not raise CTA fares if elected.

Now a top mayoral aide tells the Chicago Sun-Times that promise will hold for this year, but there's no guarantee there won't be a price hike in 2012.

Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool says he's compiling the agency's 2012 budget right now. Though fare hikes and service cuts are possible if necessary to balance the agency's budget, Claypool told reporters Wednesday he's working on preventing it.

Claypool will unveil that budget in mid-October.
 
The state is currently five months behind in payments, owing the CTA $102.7 million in funding.

In 2009, the CTA announced 2010 service cuts and fare hikes intended to help close a $300 million budget gap. Last year's proposed $1.337 billion budget told a different story, comprising nearly $67 million more than in 2009.

That increase partly came from union wage increases, along with pension and healthcare obligations.
 

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