CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. last week made his case for “consistent” state funding for the transit agency in a letter to the Chicago Tribune:
Some have recently — and mistakenly — suggested that CTA’s 2016 spending plan requires a “bailout” from Springfield. That’s simply not true. As we have for the last 31 years, we are budgeting in the same way as our partners at Metra and Pace: according to the law that spells out how tax dollars are assigned to the region’s three transit agencies. . . .
A stable, reliable statutory formula that does not have to be renewed each year has allowed more than 1.6 million riders each day to know they can count on the CTA. CTA does not need, nor is it seeking, anything beyond following the letter, and the spirit, of the 1983 legislation.
This is a good approach in demanding that the state meet its obligation to CTA riders across the area.
But only time will tell if the legislature and governor see it that way too. At this point, it appears another state income tax increase would be necessary to continue the funding the CTA says it is entitled to.
We’ll see if lawmakers and Bruce Rauner have the stomach for that.
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