Almost $5 million in federal stimulus funds awarded Wednesday will be used by the Chicago police to increase security and protect against terrorist attacks on the CTA.
The grant will cover additional officers for the city's mass transit unit, fund extra canine teams to sniff out explosives, and pay for mobile bomb-detection equipment that can be deployed quickly on trains and buses and be used for screening at stations.
According to the Tribune report:
"The grant to Chicago will pay for police officers to "help provide
counter-measures at critical CTA stations," said Roderick Drew, spokesman for
the Chicago Police Department. The money to the police department will pay for 12 officers, plus equipment
and training, for three years, Drew said.
This is excellent news. We need all the help we can get with CTA security.
Details on CTA pay cuts. When CTA President Richard Rodriguez told us last month he had found $35 million in cuts and savings to avert service cuts, part of those savings were $2.9 million in furloughs and foregone raises for non-union employees.
Here are the details on those cuts, according to a CTA spokesperson.
- All non -union employees will be forgoing raises this year. That's 1,206 employees out of about 10,500. Raises averaging 3% had been budgeted. Union employees received 3% raises in January.
- Management level employees (312) will take the remaining scheduled holidays without pay: Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
- Plus, employees at the vice president level and above (26) will have to take 3 furlough days on top of the unpaid days off.
- It works out to the equivalent of 14 unpaid days for VP and above, 11 for the general manager group, and 8 for the broader non union group.
Wellington station opens today. Congrats to the CTA for opening the last Brown Line station, on time and on budget. The Wellington station is the last of the Brown Line station to open after a full rehab.
The CTA's $540 million Brown Line expansion project has gone swimmingly, and they deserve credit for making the deadlines they've set and staying within budget.
The final missing pieces are the Fullerton Belmont stations. Elevators and escalators still need to finished in these stations, which remained open during the rehab phase.