CTA avoids fare hikes by using capital funds to balance budget

The CTA will transfer almost $129 million in cash originally earmarked for station fixups and new buses to help fill $155 million budget hole this year.

CTA officials laid out these details for the agency’s board at last week’s meeting:

  • Reduce the injuries and damages reserve fund: $10 million
  • Savings on labor costs: $3.8 million
  • Savings on fuel and power expense: 1.5 million
  • Transfer to preventive maintenance from capital: $128.6 million
  • Additional RTA funding: $8 million
  • CTA sale-leaseback funds: $2.8 million

CTA Chairwoman Carole Brown also expressed her displeasure with the RTA upon learning that the $56.1 million promised by RTA last month to retire the 2008 deficit would have to be repaid. The CTA originally was told it would be a grant, not a loan. The CTA has until 2011 to repay it.

CTA President Richard Rodriguez warned that fare increased and/or service cuts are still possible for 2010 and 2011, the Sun-Times reported:

“It’s not as if we can completely rule out fare increases and service reductions,” Rodriguez told the CTA board Wednesday. “We are aggressively looking at … other ways to tighten the belt.”

Ridership still up over last year. There was some good news at the meeting. Ridership remains strong this year over last year, with a 2.5% increase systemwide. Rail ridership is up 4.8% year-to-date, with Brown Line riders causing the biggest jump at 12.2%.

Filed under: CTA in the news


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  • Mmm, why is the Brown line up so much?

  • In reply to bill80:

    Since most of the construction is done on the Brown Line now, the CTA is seeing more ridership. Plus, longer trains mean more riders.

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