It's now been a full month since CTA bus service was cut by almost 20% and train service by about 10%.
What, you had forgotten?
We humans are a very evolved animal species, so we can adapt well. And it's a damn good thing, because folks, those cuts are NOT coming back.
- The unions are not budging. Don't expect them to give up raises they've already become used to or to take unpaid furlough days.
- The state has no money.
- The governor already gave us one gift this year to help the CTA avoid raising fare, so that's it from him.
- The CTA really has nowhere else to turn.
And once service has been cut, it very rarely if ever comes back.
When the CTA tries to present a balanced budget for 2011 later this year, it will encounter the same problems they faced this year -- increasing expenses (ie., payroll) and decreasing revenue (ie., falling ridership).
And unless the CTA gets VERY creative VERY quickly and starts inking some revenue deals, we can expect more service cuts in 2011. We're safe from fare increases for now, though I think the CTA should examine higher rush hour fares at the very least rather than reduce service. Those revenue deals should include some L station naming rights certainly.
Meanwhile, good thing we are great at adapting, right?