Rusty, old CTA screw symbolizes need for federal capital funds

At a House committee hearing earlier this month, Federal Transit Administration chief Peter Rogoff held up a rusty, 65-year-old CTA screw to point out how badly the CTA and other transit agencies need more federal capital funding to bring the systems into a state of good repair.

It’s unclear whether CTA President Richard Rodriguez gave Rogoff that screw. But Rodriguez told the CTA board that story last week in discussing his own efforts to lobby for funds in Washington. According to Rodriguez’ board report: “The FTA has recommended that the reauthorization include funding that would help large, older
transit systems such as the CTA get closer to a state of good repair.”

Other news of notes from the president’s report:

  • Last weekend should be the last time service was cut to the Blue Line for slow zone work. The project should be done early in 2010.
  • After many budget cuts, belt-tightening and some shifting of funds, the CTA should finish 2009 with a balanced budget.
  • The $530 million Brown Line expansion project will be complete by the end of December — “on time and on budget.”
  • Year-to-date ridership is down slightly (-0.8%) over last year.

Finally, Rodriguez encouraged board members to enjoy the Holiday Train if they hadn’t already. And he mentioned that thanks to employee contributions, the CTA delivered more than 300 food baskets this year to the needy


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  • You are lucky that this isn't on the Sun-Times bulletin board, as they don't allow the word you repeatedly used.

    Also, a 65-year old screw is somewhat wimpy. Given the age of the L system and 77th car barn, you think they could come up with something 100-117 years old.

  • He Thanks the employees for their contributions with pink slips and to lay them off what a hypocrite.

  • Wooddroe, he thanked the employees who contributed to the Holiday Train. If some of them are at risk of being laid off, it may mean they nevertheless found it worthwhile to donate to people less fortunate than themselves. They deserved to be thanked.

  • Oh, I think the CTA's infrastructure is in much need of repair, but I hear that they are laying off their Ironworkers at a time when they need them the most. What's going on at the CTA? Same old, same old...

  • Actually that screw should symbolize how we, the riders have been and continued to be screwed by the CTA on a daily basis...


  • In reply to KevinB:

    KevinB: Good to see you didn't let me down. I was thinking when I wrote this that you would say something like this.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Glad to have lived up to my rep...As I mentioned in your cufflinks post I'm holding out for my pair of "rusty screw" cufflinks myself

  • The C.T.A. should get into one of those barter networks.Or start their own.If bidding rules prevent this,then maybe future contracts would at least allow them to give gift cards as employee bonuses or rewards.

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