RTA scare tactic? Agency warns of service cuts due to state's unpaid bills

In what appears to be a blatant scare tactic to me, the RTA is threatening that the CTA, Metra and Pace may have to make service cuts in July if the state doesn't fork over almost $400 million it owes the area's transit oversight board.

And for that I say, you rock RTA!

Despite a hefty 67 percent increase in the state income tax in January, the state still is monthsbehind in payments to the RTA and other creditors.

From the Tribune report:

The RTA said it has exhausted its ability to  borrow. This borrowing has
been used to bridge the cash shortfalls caused until now by delinquent
state payments.

Within the next 30 days, the RTA warned Gov. Pat Quinn and other state officials, the RTA will begin to divert money from transit operations in order to pay for the borrowing.

"This diversion of money from the transit agencies will drain money
from day-to-day operations and as a result could force service cutbacks
that will dramatically impact over two million daily riders and 15,000
employees," the RTA said in a letter to Quinn.

The latest CTA financial report for April shows the RTA owes CTA $213.4 million. No doubt it's gotten worse in the last two months.

Let's hope the state and Quiin can get their act together and avert cuts.


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