Terry Peterson hasn't even started his new job as chairman of the CTA
board, and already he may be facing his biggest challenge. As he told
a City Council committee yesterday, the CTA is facing a $300 million
budget gap for next year. The CTA will release its busget at next
Wednesday's board meeting.
Peterson told the Sun-Times
that in trying to cloase the budget gap, he he "can't take anything off
the table -- including the possibility of fare hikes, service cuts and
union givebacks." Great to hear he's going to talk to unions, since
union wages make up the vast majority of the budget. This year
non-union employees had to take furlough days off, saw delays in raises, and
had overtime reduced to help balance the budget.
But listen up folks: We have to prepare to dig deeper into our pockets, and withstand service cuts. Because I predict we'll need both a fare hike and service cuts -- among other fixes -- to balance the budget this year. The state will be in no position -- and in no mood -- to bail us out yet again.