At a House committee hearing earlier this month, Federal Transit Administration chief Peter Rogoff held up a rusty, 65-year-old CTA screw to point out how badly the CTA and other transit agencies need more federal capital funding to bring the systems into a state of good repair.
It's unclear whether CTA President Richard Rodriguez gave Rogoff that screw. But Rodriguez told the CTA board that story last week in discussing his own efforts to lobby for funds in Washington. According to Rodriguez' board report: "The FTA has recommended that the reauthorization include funding that would help large, older
transit systems such as the CTA get closer to a state of good repair."
Other news of notes from the president's report:
- Last weekend should be the last time service was cut to the Blue Line for slow zone work. The project should be done early in 2010.
- After many budget cuts, belt-tightening and some shifting of funds, the CTA should finish 2009 with a balanced budget.
- The $530 million Brown Line expansion project will be complete by the end of December -- "on time and on budget."
- Year-to-date ridership is down slightly (-0.8%) over last year.
Finally, Rodriguez encouraged board members to enjoy the Holiday Train if they hadn't already. And he mentioned that thanks to employee contributions, the CTA delivered more than 300 food baskets this year to the needy