It was deju vu all over again at a CTA public hearing Monday night, as scores of people fighting to save a key segment of the #11 Lincoln/Sedgwick bus jammed the meeting room.
Some creative solutions were offered by attendees, including a pitch from 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar to use excess TIF funds from his ward to fund the route segment from Fullerton to Western slated to be cut on Dec. 16.
But neither the CTA board nor its president showed any sign of compromising on the issue, which also was discussed at a
November September public hearing on the CTA's plan to reduce crowding.
Some riders also decried the increase in the price of passes, and the steep jump in the fare from the O'Hare terminal on the Blue Line - from $2.25 to $5. The fare increase are set to take effect Jan. 14. Another budget hearing is set for 6 p.m. Dec. 17 at Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin Blvd.
In November 2008, when the CTA last increased fares, the board surprised some by reducing the increase on passes. For instance, a 30-day pass was supposed to cost $90, but the board cut the increase to $86 from the previous $75.
If there are any surprises next Tuesday when the board votes on the full budget, it might be on the O'Hare fare increase. Perhaps they will find a way to allow workers at O'Hare to continue to pay the base $2.25 fare, and just stick it to tourists and businesspeople for $5.
Read the Tribune coverage of the hearing Monday.