I gleaned these budget facts from the presentation CTA President Rich Rodriguez made to the board last week.
- Budgeted positions keep dropping. In 2008, there were almost 11,000 positions budgeted. In 2011 that number will drop to about 9,400 - a 14% reduction. Of course, the 2010 service cuts account for the bulk of that drop. I'm hoping the CTA wishes it still had the 1,100 positions - mostly operators - that were cut due to budget constraints.
- Fuel costs have dropped substantially. The fuel bill was just over $100 million in 2009,but is budgeted to be about $55 million in 2011. The CTA says strategic hedging is projected to save almost $8 million in 2010. And again, the big drop is due to the service cuts.
- The sour economy continues to affect public funding of the CTA. Public funding amounted to about $621 million in 2008, and is projected to be $529 million in 2011. That's $92 million less than 2008.
- Free rides continue to grow, The CTA figure to grant about 50 million freebies in 2010 and 51 million in 2011. That's a lot of lost revenue.
- The CTA expects a modest 2.9% increase in ridership in 2011 over 2010. Most of the growth (3.4%) will come in rail boardings. Bus boardings are expected to increase about 1%.