We haven't yet heard the last word on CTA budget

Folks, it's not over yet.

Yes, the CTA board on Thursday adopted a 2010 budget with no fare hikes
and service cuts. But we haven't heard the last from the board on this
budget.

The CTA still has almost three months to find about $100 million to
avoid all the service cuts. Granted, the CTA probably won't find enough
to avoid ALL service cuts, but I'm convinced they will keep working to
find more cash. Hell, they found $1 million earlier this week just by
asking vendors to cut contract costs by 4 percent.

So there still may be hope for that 49X Western express bus, Martha.

Weekend work. The big news is there is NO weekend work on the Blue Line. That's because the big work is happening in the Loop as the CTA improves the signals on the elevated line. Meanwhile, on the Red Line, northbound trains will bypass Morse and Jarvis from 10 pm Friday till 6 pm Sunday  

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  • Don't toy with me, Mr. Tattler. I've already processed through the stages of grief and have finally reached acceptance. Occasionally, I've even been taking the local instead of the express as a form of aversion therapy to prepare myself for the big cut. I can plan on an extra 10-15 minutes added to my commute depending on traffic and passenger loading. I'm tired of this sick, co-dependent relationship I have with the CTA.

  • As last year proved, CTA can repeatedly amend its budget. But, as I mentioned in the other thread, I am sure that the union is holding out for another $160 million in funny money to avoid the cuts.

    BTW, how did Quinn come up with this money (supposedly RTA is going to sell bonds) and can't sell the bonds to fund the two capital bills? Most of the media forgets, but I don't.

  • Perhaps other union members could stage a ride in campaign.If all of the most powerful unions flooded the system with demonstrators demanding that union jobs be saved,politicians would come up with all kinds of money instantly.

  • Why can't job stimulus money be used to save C.T.A. jobs? Why can't environmental funding be used to save bus routes ? At least some of those commuters will switch to cars if there is no convenient bus service .

  • Does anyone know why the CTA doesn't use more advertising for revenue? After the last doomsday I saw a ton more bus wraps, and I know there's the ads on the LCD screens in some stations now, but it seems there's tons of unused wall space. In London, the tube's escalators have ads on the walls on both sides, and the platforms have enormous ads on the walls as well. In NYC, stations are completely taken over by advertising from time to time. I know people don't like to be surrounded by ads, but it seems like a grossly underused revenue source for the CTA.

  • I hoped other people would correct any flaws in reasoning or improve on my ideas.Perhaps they would inspired or outraged to come up with their own much better ideas that could actually help the C.T.A. That doesn't seem to have happened.

  • In reply to JamesReyes:

    1. Other people, like and I have said what is wrong with your ideas. What is a "ride in campaign?" Are we all supposed to pack and L car and puke into a seat (see the later CTA Tattler post) to show our solidarity that we want funding, ahem, our taxes increased?

    2. Many of us have done futile things like write our state reps to fix this mess. They bothched up the 2008 bill with conditions such as "on the vote of 9 or 12 members of the then board" to assure that nothing gets done. My rep is now sponsoring such bad ideas as SB941 (at least the version that said that paratransit gets 10% more than its last deficit, to be taken out of the three service boards' hides). I didn't vote for that rep. the last time, and I am certainly not writing her about my ideas for the CTA. In the meantime, as various backers of management and labor only seem to want to hash it out on internet bulletin boards, I'll let them have their fight. As I previously said, until such time as CTA hires me as a consultant and pay what they do to AECOM or Parsons-Brinkerhoff, it is not up to me to make suggestions to which they won't listen.

  • In reply to JamesReyes:

    Somehow MK didn't make it in my prior post after "like." To show the futility of complaining, I made the suggestion to whoever at the Tribune that runs these blogs that there (or as CTA people say their) should be a proofing frame. Haven't seen one yet. This just goes to show that giving suggestions to anyone is futile. Especially to the CTA, RTA, or state legislature.

  • In reply to JamesReyes:

    Can someone please explain to me the details of the express route cuts. If the express routes are cut, then there will be more customers on the local routes. Is there spare capacity on the local routes to accommodate these riders? I would think that they will have to add buses to the local routes to accommodate all the riders switching from the express routes. If this is the case, are they converting just a fraction of the old express route buses into local route buses? If so, why not cut some fraction of the express routes and some fraction of the local routes? I'm trying to figure out where the cost savings are by cutting the express routes. I would think that the express routes can serve more customers per service-hour because they travel at faster average speeds. Unless the express routes are severely under-utilized by passengers, they would be the more cost-efficient routes. Why would the CTA cut the more efficient routes?

  • The issue is that about 6 months ago, CTA shifted resources from local routes to express routes, basically X9, X49, X55, and X80, putting 9 at 12 minutes and the rest at 15. The idea was to encourage people to use the express.

    So, the question is whether they will be getting the locals back to the old headway, or the 12-15 minute headways are an indication of what service will be throughout the system. In that cutting the express routes accounts for about 90 of the 287 buses to be retired, it might be the latter.

  • MK,
    I was expecting that the locals will be unacceptably over-crowded if all the former express customers are also on-board, but service levels stay the same as now. According to what Jack said, it sounds like the answer is yes. So they are essentially cutting service on the #49, 55, 80, etc... compared to what it was several years ago before the X versions were created. Does this make sense? Aren't there routes with fewer riders per service hour that should be cut first?

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