Revenue and ridership down; details on how stimulus funds were spent

Here are some news items gleaned from reports presented at last week's CTA board meeting.

Revenue down, but so are expenses. Total revenue through July was about $860,000 lower than budgeted. But the good news is that expenses are about $1.5 million less than budgeted. Source.

Ridership down for year. CTA ridership systemwide through August is down slightly for the first time this year. Ridership saw a 0.5% dip. Bus ridership was down 2.6%, while rides on the rail were up 3%.

Details on stimulus fund spending. President Richard Rodriguez gave the board these details on total spending by the CTA from U.S.. stimulus dollars:

Dearborn Blue Line Ties - $87.8M

Hybrid Buses - $50.0M

Bus/Rail Car Rehab - $75.2M

Subway Escalators - $4.9M

Kedzie Boiler and Heater - $5.5M

Belmont/Fullerton Canopies - $1.9M

Cermak Station - $12.5M

North Park Oil/Water Separator - $2.4M

TOTAL -  $240.2M

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  • And not one cent of the stimulus money went to eliminate the slow zones between Loyola & Granville.
    The Far North Side gets no respect, I tell ya!

  • Some of the numbers don't make sense to me...

    Like the 1/2 fare subsidy being $2M, and the variance to budget being the same amount?

    Also these items:

    July expenses of $ 107.533 M were
    $ 1.518 M favorable to the 2009 Budget
    YTD expenses of $ 727.626 M were
    $ 1.517 M favorable to the 2009 Budget

    How can the amount favorable to budget be the same year to date as the amount favorable to budget for the month. Last month we were $30M favorable to budget YTD. Numbers don't add up... Perhaps the person who made the powerpoint screwed them up.

  • In reply to chris:

    Probably a 6/30 Fiscal Year end. That would mean that July comprised the entire fiscal year, and thus July variances equal YTD variances.

  • In reply to Byron:

    I really doubt that. If you look at the current 2009 CTA Budget, it talks about such things as the Brown Line Project being completed in 2009 and adding to ridership, not in Fiscal 2010. There are also references to amending the 2008 budget in July 2008, not starting anew. It is possible that the 2009 budget was also amended in July or August when it appeared that the RTA would not meet its funding marks, but there is nothing in the CTA budget that indicates other than a calendar year. If you can find it in the linked document, please quote it, and give the pdf page number.

  • In reply to jack:

    Apparently links are no longer permitted, and the one to the budget is http://www.transitchicago.com/assets/1/finance_budget/2009sum.pdf

  • In reply to chris:

    Am I the only one that thinks it's humorous that the CTA spent $2.4 million to separate oil and water?

  • In reply to Byron:

    I presume it's for rain & snow runoff from the outdoor parking at North Park.
    The buses leak & it's illegal for that to go into either the sewers or the North Shore Channel, which we all know is so very clean!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The comment was directed more along the lines of oil and water don't mix... but I'm sure there was a fair reason for it. I just thought it was funny.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I'm waiting for more shoes to drop on slow zones. The ties on the Red Line northbound tracks between Sheridan and Wilson are in dreadful shape. Presumably that will go the moment winter hits us. I'm also curious as to when we're going to see broader significant work on the North Main and the Evanston Purple, both of which are decrepit and non-wheelchair accessible. Sheridan is particularly glaring seeing as it's an important transfer to the Irving X80 for traffic to O'Hare and you can barely get your bags through the station. And then all the platforms on island stations north of Sheridan are dangerously narrow in their current configuration, except at Loyola where it was dealt with properly in renovation. Even the renovated Granville could use some handrail love on the walkway between the escalator/elevator area and main platform.

    It's pitiful that the state didn't show Region 1 more money in the capital bill. There's no doubt about it -- Chicago and the suburbs got severely shortchanged. There are Downstate roads to nowhere, yet no Circle Line, no North Main rebuilding, slow progress on the south side Red Line extension, no fixing the Eisenhower in the inner suburbs, no reconstruction of north Lake Shore Drive, further delays on the Northwest Tollway reconstruction, and particular neglect of transit in the areas of Cook County that pay the full sales tax but don't get full CTA service.

  • In reply to Byron:

    They spent "Cermak Station - $12.5M " and the escalator that was damaged by the truck a year ago is still out of service. Someone should do an audit to see where the money really went.

  • Why would ridership be down? Although it doesn't appear to be down by that much...

  • In reply to dstrauss1987:

    Fewer people going to work. Also, gas prices are $2.70 rather than $4.69 a gallon like this time last year, so maybe some people can afford to drive.

    Also, ridership does not necessarily equate to revenue. Pace says ridership is way down, but then, again, so are free rides after Pace no longer accepted the CTA 7 day pass.

    Also, with CTA, you have the problem of the unlinked trip. All the sudden the average fare went up from about $0.93 to $1.07.

    Thus, all the numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt.

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