CTA: No Fare Increases, No Service Cuts in New Budget

Proposed budget is nearly $67 million more than last year

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Charlie Wojciechowski
    A train bound for Kimball enters the CTA's Paulina Station on the Brown Line.

    The Chicago Transit Authority budget for the upcoming fiscal year looks a lot different than the last one.

    While recommendations last year included eliminating more than 1,000 jobs, cutting service routes and increasing fares, changes this year won't be customer-facing.

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    "We've developed a budget that allows us to maintain current fares and service levels," CTA President Richard Rodriguez said Wednesday.

    The proposed budget to the board is $1.337 billion, nearly $67 million more than last year. That increase partly comes from union wage increases, along with pension and healthcare obligations.

    To offset the increase, the CTA made "management efficiences" to could save $54 million.

    "What we're doing is we're asking so much more of our non-union employees than we ever have," said Rodriguez.

    Amalgamated Transit Union officials believe the CTA is finally listening to them when it comes to a decrease in managerial positions."

    "Our workers have been making concessions for over several years, going back to the 80s," said ATU 241's Darrell Jefferson.

    But like the union has said in the past, it is not planning on giving in to the transit agency when it comes to opening their contract.

    "I'm not going to threaten layoffs and reduced service just for the sake of doing so," said Rodriguez. "The unions are the unions and they understand the positions that we're in. The hope has always been that they step up and assist us, but they've chosen not to."