Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2012 budget suggests imposing a new $2 "congestion premium" on all drivers parking in downtown parking garages and lots on weekdays. Total city tax would be $5. The extra $2 would
fund currently unspecified CTA improvements be used to rebuild two unnamed L stations downtown and to fund the bus rapid transit system, reports the Tribune.
I love this explanation/justification of the congestion premium in Rahm's press release:
On a typical workday, our Central Business District is jammed with vehicles, which makes it harder to do business. Our streets are crowded, roads in need of repair and pollution created by drivers is unhealthy for Chicagoans. Suburban drivers who use city services and infrastructure need to help pay the costs for these things. The congestion fee is an incentive for drivers to take public transportation or pay more to park downtown.
I found one more CTA tidbits in the Budget Overview document:
- The city is expecting $29.4 million in 2012 for the CTA Real Estate Transfer Tax Fund. It had budget $26.1 million for this year, but expects to end the year with $31.4 million. I guess Chicago is being cautiously conservative on 2012 estimates.