Few Optimistic CTA Service Can be Fully Restored

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    CTA bus pulls up to waiting passenger.

    Two days after the Chicago Transit Authority reduced service on 119 bus routes and seven rail lines, officials are still trying to figure out to make the cuts only temporary.

    But no one is confident that any headway will be made.

    CTA, Unions Point Fingers at Each Other

    [CHI] CTA, Unions Point Fingers at Each Other
    The CTA says its unions aren't giving up enough to avoid service cuts, and the unions say CTA management is uncooperative.

    "I’m going to give them his menu," said Robert Kelly, president of Amalgamated Transit Union 308, prior to a Tuesday evening meeting with rail workers. "I don’t think they’re going to like his menu. I don’t anticipate them ordering anything off his menu."

    The menu Kelly spoke of is the CTA's request that union employees take furlough days, pay cuts and more responsibility over health care costs.

    The unions say they've given all they can give.

    Earlier in the day, Mayor Richard Daley gave no indication that something would work out and that service would be restored.

    "They've renegotiated everything," Daley said. "This went on for months. This is nothing new."

    CTA President Richard Rodriguez said he's received word from union officials that they'd like to meet again this week, but there's been no confirmed meeting time, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

    The service cuts were made to help close a $95 million budget gap.  Nearly 290 buses have been taken out of service and 1,000 union employees have lost their jobs.  Most of the remaining bus and rail services are starting later in the day and ending earlier.