CTA cuts jobs, fuel bills and saves $54 million

CTA President Richard Rodriguez kicked off the annual CTA budget discussion on Wednesday by announcing $36.1 million cuts from "personnel efficiencies" and another $17.5 million in fuel and administrative costs. The $54 million budget whack was the first salvo in what promises to be another "interesting" adventure as the CTA struggles to balance its budget.

The personnel cuts come from eliminating 70 positions - including a dozen management jobs, delaying some hiring, tightly managing overtime costs, and continuing to require non-union workers to take unpaid days off, with no pay increase in 2011.

No further cuts in union bus or rail operator jobs were mentioned. About 1,000 operator jobs were cut in February after the CTA sliced bus service by almost 20 percent and rail service by about 10%.

The CTA promised the state it would not raise fares this year or next. But the state is owes the CTA about $136 million in public subsidies.

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  • The last sentence brings us to a Chicago Breaking News story with such tidbits from the outgoing brass that:

    "The transit agencies can forget about adding any new services, such as the CTA's planned Red Line extension to the south suburbs [?] and Metra's proposed improvements on the Union Pacific West and Northwest lines, because all available money will be needed just to keep equipment in good repair, [Schlickman] said.

    ...

    Schlickman, at his last meeting after five years as RTA chief, said transportation officials were skeptical about the state's ability to come up with the $2.7 billion the legislature approved last year for five years' worth of highway, transportation and infrastructure projects.

    The state already owes the RTA $300 million this year just to pay its bills.

    A February agreement between Gov. Pat Quinn and the CTA not to increase fares for two years is void unless the state comes up with its promised share of funding, Schlickman said.

    'We're saying (the deal) has not yet been consummated with an actual payment,' Schlickman said. 'If the state continues to be in arrears, it's going to be very difficult to avoid what might be significant actions next year to maintain the system. What those actions are, I'm not going to predict right now.'"

    So, folks, the New Starts seem to be the fraud indicated (whatever happened to "we won't leave federal money on the table," as Carole and various legislators said), and Quinn's big deal last year about selling bonds to prevent fare increases in 2010 and 2011 also appear to be. As I previously mentioned, Quinn got his photo op in Englewood for disbursing maybe 20% of the capital bill money, and Schlickman now doubts that the rest will come through.

    Again, I repeat, for those die hard Democrats around here, consider how Quinn has deceived you in the area of transit. Your fares are going up, and the system is going downhill. Think before you vote this time.

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not a die hard anything, but I have no doubt Brady doesn't give a rats' youknowwhat about transit funding.

  • Deja vu all over again!

  • In reply to marthat3:

    I would throw in as deja vu that the original Doomsday, that gave rise to Ask Carole, was for $54 million, and would have resulted in taking 35% of the buses off the street. Here, Rodriguez is cutting a similar amount, supposedly without sweat. However, based on the RTA article, it looks like RR will have to cut a lot more.

  • Agreed. We all need to think before we vote. And I think I don't want to regress to the middle ages with some of Brady's nutty policies.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    I take it that you support Scott Lee Cohen, Rich Whitney of the Green Party (ask if it has a transit platform, but it is supposedly Green), or Lex Green of the Libertarian Party (green in more than name?).

    You don't have to tell us which one, but you certainly can't be a transit advocate after all the #&?%! Quinn has pulled.

  • In reply to jack:

    I left out
    ...and vote for the latter.

  • I hope more people realize that something's very wrong with our state representatives. Every governmental body - towns, school districts, etc. - has been told by OUR state that it's just not going to pay them on time. "We'll pay you later..." They're 11 months behind in payments for at least my school district. It's not JUST transit. If we're paying attention, voting should be very interesting this fall - something's gotta change.

  • Considering I've run into Pat Quinn on the Green Line, I would bet he at least knows transit exists. I don't have any evidence that suggests he knows how much it could be improved.

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