The Chicago Transit Authority released its proposed 2019 budget on Thursday, and the spending plan does not raise fares or cut services, the agency says.
The $1.5 billion budget maintains bus and train fares at their 2018 levels, according to the agency, and will also drive investment into continuing to modernize the CTA’s offerings to the public.
“I am pleased to present a spending plan that not only maintains vital transit service in neighborhoods across the city, but also continues our investment to improve and modernize our service,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “And I’m especially pleased to be able to hold the line on fares, despite the many financial pressures our agency is facing.”
Last year the agency raised fares on buses and trains by 25 cents as it continues to deal with funding shortfalls from the state. The agency is also using the budget to cut costs by initiating a hiring freeze for 150 open positions, and is locking in fuel and power prices at lower rates to further curb expenses.
The agency also proposed numerous capital projects in the new budget, including putting the finishing touches on the massive new 95th Street terminal on the Red Line, rehabbing the Belmont and Jefferson Park Blue Line stops, and taking more steps on Phase 1 of a massive modernization of the Red and Purple lines.
A public hearing on the new budget will be held on Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at CTA headquarters, the agency says. Written comments can be submitted via email or regular mail by Nov. 14 at noon.