State cuts in reduced-fare program squeeze CTA budget

A 50 percent cut in the amount the state distributes to the CTA to compensate for the reduced-fare program will cost the transit agency almost $14 million through next June. And that could result in new fare increases or reduced service, according to a Tribune story.

The state funded the reduced-fare program by a total of $34 million for all transit agencies for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The legislature cut it to $17.6 million for this year. The CTA gets the lion's share of that pot - 84 percent of it. So the CTA will take the biggest hit to its budget - about $6.8 million of the rest of this year.

While it's too early to tell how this budget cut will affect the 2014 budget for the CTA, “This is real money we are losing, money that was buying fuel and paying for bus drivers and so on,’’ Joseph Costello told the Tribune. Costello is executive director of the Regional Transportation Authority.

Read the entire Tribune report. We'll be watching this unfortunate development.

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  • The feds only require it for nonrush hour, so theoretically the perk could be cut back if the state can't pay for it.

    But with everyone calling for more funding (the transit authorities, the teachers' union, and whomever else), just wait until they try to force through another tax increase to placate all the interests groups, including the ones Blago tried to buy off with free rides that supposedly were at no cost.

  • Back to the death spiral.

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