CTA 2014 budget: No fare hike or service cuts

The CTA's 2014 budget calls for no fare increases or service cuts. That's good news.

The total operating budget is $1.38 billion, about $44 million more than the forecast 2013 budget of $1.34 billion.

The budget plan also includes the following capital improvements projects scheduled to start next year:

  • The $240 million 95th Street terminal.
  • Reconstruction  of the Wilson Red Line station - a $203 million project.
  • The new station at Cermak on the Green Line at a cost of $50 million.

Continuing projects include:

  • The $71 million Ravenswood Connector project to upgrade the track and rail structure between Chicago and Armitage on the Brown and Purple elevated lines.

CTA also expects ridership to grow by about 1 percent over 2013 to almost 535 million. View the full budget on the CTA website.

A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake Street, second floor conference room. That's it, your only chance to comment.

Interestingly, Metra is holding eight public hearings over two days on its budget, while Pace is hosting 13 hearings.
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  • 1. These idiots just don't get it!
    Raise fares 5¢ a year, so you don't end up with a huge increase after several years that pisses off the discretionary riders, who then dump the crummy CTA for Metra or their own cars.

    2. No money to replace the worn out switches north of Granville on the busiest line, but $50 million for a station that won't get a lot of usage.

    Their priorities are totally f * * * e d up!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    You seem to be quite knowledgeable. Why do you undermine your creditability with the invective and the name calling?

  • In reply to wegerje:

    Because it's the only way to describe them!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I have a better idea. Why don't they raise the fares by $0.50, and buy some additional trainsets? They gave us the B.S. de-crowding plan, but I continue to squeeze myself into the over-packed sardine cans, err, Brown line trains, every morning.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    If you read the budget, they are spending about $1 billion on 714 cars with longitudinal seats, although apparently those aren't going to the Brown Line, other than 6 Midway yard trains already going up there in the morning rush (as reflected in the schedule).

    Emanuel and Claypool claim that they ride the Brown Line, so the problem must have been solved. Claypool so announced, including in the budget, although the statistics were dubious.

  • In reply to jack:

    If I recall correctly, the new cars are simply replacing older cars that are being retired, so there's no net increase in capacity.

    Yeah, I'm sure Tweedledum and Tweedledee don't see the crowding, as their entourage of armed security personnel probably keep the rail cars half empty.

    Look, a co-called world class city deserves a world class transportation system. I have no problem paying what it would take, as it would still be much cheaper than owning a car and driving to work downtown. Heck, parking alone downtown is at least double the cost of a monthly CTA pass.

    Unfortunately, the CTA has been mismanaged for decades, and the gutless politicians won't be honest with the riding public.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    No, the budget says the fleet is supposed to be up 60 cars as a result of deliveries of 5000s, and various news articles have indicated that the fleet currently is up about 80 cars, due to slow retirements.

    And gutless politicians prevent this from being a world class city.

  • What's happening with the Western/Ashland BRT stuff. Are they in budget lines too small to report?

  • In reply to wegerje:

    While Emanuel's lips were not moving (da Mare spoke for himself about a week ago), Claypool said in today's Sun-Times “We are behind it, but the devil is in the details,’’ Claypool said. “We are not saying, ‘This is the plan, darn it.’”

    Like the Illiana Expressway, Red Line extension, and everything else, there is "no source of funding" except to keep consultants off the unemployment line.

    Also, in that article, Claypool gave the best reason why the 4 transit boards should be abolished.

  • In reply to wegerje:

    It is listed in the "Proposed FY2014-2018 Capital Improvement Plan" section.

  • Does anyone know the reason why they are adding power substations? Do the new cars require more power or were they space improperly?

    Also, as some have mentioned before, didn't they just do the blue line reconstruction? I guess they're doing it again, but not clear what they're fixing and if they're fixing what they already supposedly fixed.

  • In reply to chris:

    Apparently these are better explained than some of the things against I railed.

    The need for more power for new cars or longer trains was cited with regard to rebuilding a couple of Brown Line and Red Line South substations. The Brown Line project should have taken care of the substation at Clark Jct. But one would have to assume that most of the existing ones are using obsolete rectifiers to convert AC to DC and the like.

    The Blue Line projects here seem to be on the Milwaukee L portion between Logan Square and Division, which at least have been a perpetual 6 mph slow zone (at least north of Western, or is it west of Armitage).

  • In reply to jack:

    So does that mean all the motor-generator sets are gone to make DC power?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I don't see what the motor generator sets on the trains has to do with the substations next to the track.

  • In reply to jack:

    No, the original substations had motor-generator sets to generate 600V DC power for the trains.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The term "motor generator sets" usually is used in connection to providing AC to various components on the train.

    I don't know what they used to convert AC to DC within the substations, but apparently it is obsolete. Present technology seems to call for solid state rectifiers, at least according to this ABB document found on the web.

  • "Interestingly, Metra is holding eight public hearings over two days on its budget, while Pace is hosting 13 hearings."

    That's because the state law says they have to. 70 ILCS 3615/3A10 (Pace), 70 ILCS 3615/3B10 (Metra).

    Of course, state law and public hearings mean nothing to CTA, as exemplified by Claypool's statement in today's paper/

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