CTA's proposed 2012 budget by the numbers

Following are some of the details from the CTA's proposed 2012 operating budget. Source for these figures is the "President's 2012 Budget Recommendations."

Total operating budget: $1.24 billion, representing a 5.1% decrease ($66.2 million) versus the 2011 revised budget.

To fill the $277 million budget gap announced in early October, the CTA cut 200 non-union (mostly management) jobs and will implement "management efficiencies" to save $117 million. The CTA hopes to close the remaining $160 million gap with "anticipated work rule reforms, health care benefit changes and restraint in wage growth consistent with other metropolitan transit agencies," according to a press release.

Labor expenses are estimated at $963.1 million, a $61.7 million (6.8 percent) increase versus the 2011 budget. That's two‐thirds of the CTA budget. The 2012 labor budget includes these assumptions:

  • Elimination of 200 budgeted positions.
  • Savings of $7.6 million annually, originally part of the 2011 mid‐year reductions, will be realized again in 2012.
  • Revisions to vacation and sick‐time policies for non‐bargained employees.

Fuel expenses are budgeted at $66.7 million, $8.5 million (14.7 percent) more than the 2011 revised budget. The fuel budget is managed using the CTA’s strategic fuel hedging policy. Fuel prices in 2012 are budgeted at $3.50 per gallon.

Electric power for revenue equipment is budgeted at $25 million, which is $5.3 million (17.4 percent) lower than the 2011 revised budget. The CTA negotiated a new contract for electric power beginning on Jan. 1, 2012.

Security services expenses are estimated to be $36.8 million, an increase of $815 thousand, or 2.3 percent 2011. In addition to services contracted by the CTA (24‐hour patrol services provided by the Chicago, Evanston and Oak Park Police Departments), Chicago provides approximately $22 million in services from the Chicago Police Department’s Public Transportation Section at no charge to the CTA. Security across the system in 2012 will also include an additional 50 full‐time officers from the Chicago Police Academy, expected to be deployed in the spring.

Other expenses are set to drop dramatically in 2012. The budget is $126 million, a decrease of $71.7 million (36.3 percent) from the 2011 revised budget. This decrease reflects a reduced need in the 2012 budget for pension obligation bond debt service due to a recent substitution of a debt service reserve fund.

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