CTA Board Approves First Fare Hike in Nearly a Decade

The Chicago Transit Agency’s board approved a 25 cent fare hike Wednesday.

The increase will go into effect Jan. 7. It would be the first in eight years.

The CTA said it is facing a $33 million deficit with state budget cuts and felt it had to increase rates rather than cut service, an alternative that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he did not want to see when discussing the agency’s 2018 budget, proposed last month.

Under the proposal, fares would increase from $2 to $2.25 for bus passengers paying with card, and from $2.25 to $2.50 for bus passengers paying in cash.

Card fares for train riders would go from $2.25 to $2.50 and the monthly Ventra pass would rise from $100 to $105.

The plan also includes an increase in reduced fare rides for students and people with disabilities of 10 cents on the bus and 15 cents on the train.

Community groups and CTA riders attended a public hearing on the proposal Tuesday night, with some expressing outrage at the increase.

“I sit there and I have to shell out more money to get to work just so everything can keep going haywire. That’s not right,” one passenger said ahead of the vote Wednesday morning.

Others were less upset, saying they were more willing to pay the increase so they didn’t see any cuts.

“I don’t have any problems with it. It’s still cheaper than driving my car,” one Northwest Side train rider said.

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