The RTA board today confirmed that reduced tax revenues blows another $35 million hole in the CTA's budget this year.
So, what should the CTA do? First and foremost, listen to and consider its customers.
And I like what I've heard so far from President Richard Rodriguez on that front:
"We have to take a look at who is going to be impacted, who is more
transit-dependent and where we can afford to basically reduce service
and not necessarily eliminate service."
Here are my suggestions for cuts:
- First, look internally. Cut any open vacancies that may exist. Look critically at spending on consultants, travel, etc.. Every penny counts.
- In identifying service cuts, choose the least travelled routes. Cut back on frequency. But avoid at all costs cutting entire routes. Because, hopefully, this is a short-lived problem, and the tax revenue will come back as the economy improves. If you cut entire routes now, it will be extremely difficult to get them back. Just don't do it.
- Avoid fare hikes at all costs. And thankfully, fares don't appear to be in the picture.
- Be judicious in deciding to transfer capital dollars to the operating fund. I'm not totally against it, I'm increasingly concerned about the impact of such decisions
What have I missed? What are your thoughts?