While the CTA spent about $23 million less than budgeted in the first quarter of the year, system-generated revenue was $8.5 million less than anticipated for Q1, according to the financial report presented at last week's meeting of the Chicago Transit Authority board.
Reasons cited for the reduced revenue include:
- Lower than anticipated farebox revenue because of lower ridership from the service cuts.
- Lower vehicle and platform advertising revenues.
- Lower revenue from property sales.
On the expense side, the CTA reports it cut costs in:
- Labor expense due to vacancies, lower overtime and higher charges to capital jobs.
- Materials expense through a "reduction in the bus fleet with scrapping of the 19-year-old buses, lower material usage for rail cars and lower fare card material."
- Fuel costs with favorable returns from its fuel hedge program. "The average price paid in March was $2.61 per gallon and was under the budget price of $3.25 per gallon."
Karen Walker, the CTA's CFO, continued to warn that the CTA's "working cash balance remains well below the target of three months' operating expense. (While) funds owed to CTA by the RTA and the state is approximately $184.3 million."
That's a lotta cash.