It was a busy day Wednesday for the CTA. Here's a roundup of news:
Union negotiations stalled. Crain's is reporting negotiations between the CTA and the bus and rail workers unions hit a big snag this week. And CTA President Forrest Claypool is "playing somewhat harder ball" with the CTA "with the agency reportedly moving to lay off workers as binding arbitration looms."
2012 budget expected Thursday. Meanwhile, Claypool is expected to release his budget recommendation Thursday. He's under pressure to hold the line on fare hikes at the very least. I predicted Tuesday he would, so soon we'll how good a prognosticator I am. Chances are, he will do as he did last year - tell us that a budget gap of $XXX million exists, that will be plugged pending results of the abovementioned union negotiations.
Anti-Muslim bus ads stir controversy. An ad insinuating that Muslims are violent appeared Wednesday on the back of 10 CTA buses, despite the agency's earlier attempts to reject the ad, the Tribune reports.
CTA settles suit in bike-removal death. The CTA board Wednesday OK'ed a "$5.45 million settlement to the estate of a Chicago woman hit and killed by a CTA bus while she attempted to remove her bicycle from a bike rack on the vehicle." Read the Tribune report.
South Red Line station to be upgraded. The board Wednesday also approved spending almost $44 million for station improvement work as part of the Red Line South reconstruction project. The station work will renew and improve eight stations along the project footprint, including painting and lighting, bus bridge improvements, and new roofs and canopies at some stations, the CTA said in a news release.