Blagojevich pulls funds meant for mandate on seniors
Wednesday, Blagojevich pulled the plug on $37 million that had been allocated to the Regional Transportation Authority to partially reimburse the agencies for offering reduced-fare rides to seniors, students and people with disabilities.
Time for Chicago-Milwaukee commuter line has come, employees, companies say
Proponents say connecting Milwaukee and Chicago by commuter rail would provide access to jobs, airports and entertainment venues in both cities, and boost housing and retail development along the route.
Riders feel pinch as Metra packs 'em in
It begins with a trickle, when the 8:06 a.m. Metra express rolls out of Aurora half-fullnine cars headed for Union Station. Minutes later, at a stop on Naperville's edge, the gates open and bleary commuters fill more than three-quarters of the train. Minutes after that it's a flood, with hundreds of travelers competing for any open seat to read the newspaper, listen to an iPod and, most important, get to work.
Mass transit ridership at highest in 50 years
NBC Nightly News—6/2/2008
Transit agencies are struggling to meet the surge in demand as gas prices breach $4/gallon.
Mass transit braces for fed-up drivers
Marketplace (American Public Media)—6/2/2008
As gas prices hit $4/gallon, transit agencies are growing concerned about having the resources to supply transit to new riders.
If $4 Gas Is Bad, Just Wait
Market Watch (Wall Street Journal)—5/22/2008
If oil hits $200 a barrel, which is the upper end of Goldman Sach's prediction for prices over the next six months to two years, pump prices could rise to a range of $6 to $7 a gallon.
Usage spurt reported on 3 Amtrak lines
Amtrak ridership on the three fastest-growing routes serving Illinois increased by an average of more than half in fiscal 2007, state lawmakers were told Thursday.
RTA chief chastises state leaders for failure to fund transit and roads
The chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority lashed out at state politicians Monday for failing to work aggressively toward completing a capital spending plan for mass transit and repairing deteriorating roads.
Gas Prices Send Surge of Riders to Mass Transit
New York Times—5/10/2008
Mass transit systems around the country are seeing standing-room-only crowds on bus lines where seats were once easy to come by.
Officials choose 79th, Chicago, Halsted and Jeffery for bus-only lanes pilot program
CTA bus-only lanes will be built on portions of 79th Street, Chicago Avenue, Halsted Street and Jeffery Boulevard as part of the plan to speed up public transportation and entice commuters from their cars.
Metra adding trains to deal with rush-hour crunch
Officials say there is not enough spare equipment to go around. The problem is so severe that the agency is repurchasing five 1950s-era bi-level coach cars sold to a Virginia commuter line several years ago, Executive Director Phil Pagano said.
City links CTA improvements, higher parking fees in new congestion plan
Crain's Chicago Business—4/30/2008
Armed with a huge federal grant, Chicago officials Tuesday unveiled a wide-ranging plan to unclog Loop streets by penalizing those who drive downtown and rewarding those who switch to public transit.
Gas [could] Hit $7 a Gallon
Wired Autopia Blog—4/30/2008
Both Qatar's oil minister and the head of OPEC can see oil hitting $200 a barrel before the end of the year and one analyst says gas could reach $7 a gallon within four years. That could mean cataclysm for the global economy.
City receives $153M in federal funds for traffic issues
Chicago will receive more than $153 million in federal funding over the next two years to test a carrot-and-stick combination of ideas aimed at reducing traffic congestion.
CTA announces express bus plan
The city plans to create bus-only lanes on four major city corridors within the next year, allowing Chicago Transit Authority buses to zip past cars that have been squeezed into fewer lanes. Routes could include Lake Shore Drive, and Ogden and Ashland Avenues.
Is this the end for cheap airline fares?
Fuel costs, big merger plans shake industry
Study says riders ready for rail service to Chicago
Proposed railroad service between Iowa City and Chicago would draw 187,000 passengers a year but would require about $55 million in set-up costs, according an Amtrak study released Friday.
RTA prediction: Without state aid, rough ride awaits
the issue this year for CTA, Metra and Pace is getting $10 billion in capital funds to replace obsolete equipment, rebuild viaduct and tracks, and to invest in new subway lines and Metra service.
Commuters will soon know when next CTA train is coming
CTA President Ron Huberman says more than 1,300 extra-large digital screens are going up in rail stations and at subway entrances to give riders real-time information about how many minutes away the next train is.
Behind the CTA
The Chicago Transit Authority deserves credit for the many improvements made in the past year to increase speed, cleanliness and reliability, including the following...
CTA moves to deal with high gas prices
The Chicago Transit Authority is buying lighter-weight buses and speeding up delivery of hybrid-powered buses to combat rising fuel costs.
Daley announces $227 million program to improve CTA buses, trains
Mayor Richard Daley Thursday announced a $227 million program to improve the safety and reliability of Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses.
Real Estate Transfer Tax Passes Council
Some senior citizens will catch a break, but the City Council's approval by a 41-6 vote means that Chicago's real-estate transfer tax will climb for most everyone from $7.50 per $1,000 of sale price to $10.50 beginning April 1.
Hold the applause
To get transit right will cost at least $1 billion more per year than what state government just decided to spend. But if we invest right, we'll get it back, with interest. Committing big new money to transit will unlock economic returns throughout the regionas businesses become more efficient because their trucks aren't stuck on the Dan Ryan, and as commuters recapture time now lost in traffic jams and on slow-moving trains.
Fixing transit to be a marathon
While the CTA and Pace averted steep service cuts and fare hikes with passage last week of the $530 million transit funding package, slow and crowded trains and busescommuters' biggest complaintswon't disappear.
CTA doomsday averted
Democrats in Legislature blast governor for late change to bailout, but pass it anyway, avoiding route cuts and keeping free rides for seniors
Lawmakers pass mass-transit bill 3 days before drastic cuts, fare raises
State lawmakers Thursday approved Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plan to give free bus and train rides to seniors as part of a $530 million tax increase package that prevents major service cuts and some fare increases for Chicago-area public transit riders.
Fist-pounding RTA Director to lawmakers: pass mass transit
In a heated exchange with state Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst), an opponent of the measure who complained about the cost of providing rides to seniors, Schlickman raised his voice and pounded his fist on the table and said: "We can't afford to have fare increases and service cuts this Sunday. It would be the worst thing to happen to transit in this region, in this state, and possibly this country if we allow that to happen. That is why I urge a 'yes' vote on the governor's (amendatory) veto.... We have worked on this for over a year. I quite frankly am getting tired of it because I am spending too much time on Springfield. Let's move forward!"
How drastic cuts redraw transit map
Worst-case scenarios would create bus-service dead zones
Chicago-area seniors question cost, need for Blagojevich's free-ride proposal
Some [seniors] hailed Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposal to let those 65 or older ride for free as an important subsidy for the estimated 870,000 seniors living in the metropolitan area, but others called it an expensive political ploy that could overwhelm the regional mass transit system that helps them maintain their independence.
Gov. Blagojevich defends last-minute free fare proposal
On Sunday, Blagojevich seemed to take full credit for the transit bailout, even if some officials have criticized him for dropping his free-ride plan at the last moment and perhaps imperiling an agreement.
Daley critical of governor's late change
Mayor Richard Daley on Saturday criticized Gov. Rod Blagojevich's demand last week that seniors be allowed to ride free on local trains and buses as part of a transportation funding bill, a demand that is holding up the measure and ratcheting up anxiety among mass-transit riders.
State moves to end CTA fix
The move prevents immediate closure of the issue because it forces another round of votes by lawmakers, who must approve his change or risk seeing the whole package go down.
Daley blasts Blago's timing on transit bill changes
All of this really just puts everything up in the air for a week, which is really unfortunate, Daley said. If anybody wanted to discuss it, you could have discussed it last week.
Editorial: Transit (almost) saved
If he had told lawmakers last week that a break for seniors was his demand in exchange for signing a tax increase, that could have been written into the bill and this would all be done.
Guv throws wrench into transit plan
Crain's Chicago Business—1/10/2008
Springfield powers took another step Thursday afternoon toward resolving Chicagos public transit crisis, but Gov. Rod Blagojevich threw in a last-minute curve that could considerably complicate matters.
Governor holds up transit funding
State lawmakers today passed a bill to fund Chicago-area mass transit with a sales tax increase, but Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he wouldn't go along until lawmakers agreed to provide free bus and train rides for the state's senior citizens.
Blagojevich: I Will Sign Mass Transit Bill, If Seniors Ride Free
The governor said he plans to use his amendatory veto powers to require that senior citizens do not have to pay to ride public trains or buses in Illinois. The House and Senate would have to approve such a change and neither chamber is scheduled to return to Springfield anytime soon.
Transit bill goes to governor
The General Assembly approved a sales-tax increase today to keep Chicago-area buses and trains running at full service, placing the issue squarely on the desk of Gov. Rod Blagojevich with a Jan. 20 deadline looming for fare increases and service cuts.
Blog post: Jones explains Senate's miss on mass transit
The veteran leader said he thought he would get more suburban Republican votes on the plan---there were three---and that he couldn't get enough votes from his fellow Democrats because so many Downstate senators held out for a statewide construction program. The legislation got 29 votes.
Transit-aid legislation hits bumps
Although the House members passed their plan, the Senate fell one vote short late Wednesday night, sending senators scrambling to drum up additional support for another potential try Thursday.
Blog post: House passes mass transit funding plan
The House narrowly passed a funding plan today aimed at keeping Chicago-area buses and trains running full speed and rapidly prepared to vote on a second alternative in hopes the Senate will send at least one of them to Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
2 mass transit funding bills up for House vote
Speaker Michael Madigan predicted the House will pass two mass transit funding solutions Wednesday to help Chicago-area bus and train riders, a move that would pressure Senate President Emil Jones and Gov. Rod Blagojevich to act fast.
Editorial: Mass transit bill: Just do it.
With 11 days to go before the Chicago Transit Authority plans to cut 2,400 workers and 81 bus routes, the governor is suddenly encouraging lawmakers to send him a funding bill that he swore repeatedly to veto.
Editorial: Chicago's public transport: Off Track
Ineptitude on this scale comes at a heavy price... If Illinois's politicians were trying to demonstrate how not to tackle a serious issue, they could hardly do better.
It's mostly no-shows at special session on transit
Most lawmakers skipped Wednesday's special session called by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fund Chicago's ailing mass transit system, ignoring the governor's plea to "just get it done" without any more delays.
Daley: Skyway funds no fix for CTA
You dont take sales of assets and use em for your budget. . . . You only use em for infrastructure. That is the worst scenario for anyone dealing with financing. . . . That is disaster, Daley said.
CTA workers call off walkout
After meeting with a group of religious leaders who expressed concerns about the impact of the proposed job action on their communities, the unions representing CTA workers called off a job action that was scheduled to begin Sunday night and run through Monday.
CTA workers plan 1-day walk-off
The union's ultimate goal is to shut down all CTA, Metra and Pace operations to demonstrate the need for more transit funding and to restore balance to union pension funds and health care plans.
Transit gridlock may put federal funding at risk
Illinois could lose up to $1.5 billion for the proposed expansion of Metra service, including the suburb-to-suburb STAR line; SouthEast Service to South Cook and Will Counties; and expansion of the Union Pacific Northwest and West lines into McHenry and DuPage Counties, U.S. Reps. Mark Kirk and Melissa Bean said.
Springfield stalemate could cost transit
More than a billion dollars of federal funding for Metra has been put on hold because of the deadlock in Springfield over money for mass transit. Several Illinois congressmen are outraged and they are demanding state lawmakers come up with a deal.
Daley, Union Frustrated With Lack of Transit Funding
|If there's no action from Springfield by then, in his words, "we're dead in the water, plain and simple, there can be no extensions." He says his members have made concession after concession for more than 20 years. He says he won't fund the CTA anymore on the backs of its workers.
A lump of coal for many this holiday
Politics and failed public policy have got Christmas by the throat for plenty of people in this state whose stockings are already looking pretty empty.
Gas-tax transit plan goes down in flames
The failed measure would have pumped $440 million to the region's transit agencies. The key new component was a redirection to the RTA of $385 million from the sales tax on gasoline in Cook and its five collar counties.
Governor pushing $385 million transit-funding proposal
Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the legislative leaders are gathering in his Springfield office today as the House prepares for an expected vote on a proposal to help fund mass transit in the Chicago region.
Transit unions fear demise of deal on pension, health care
A landmark agreement to reform the Chicago Transportation Authority's pension and health-are programs could be jeopardized by legislators' failure to resolve the months-long stalemate over new mass transit funding, labor leaders warned Thursday.
Transit workers mulling job action over funding crisis
Crain's Chicago Business—11/15/2007
We have no intention of causing detriment to riders, (but) were at wits end, said Rick Harris, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, which represents rail employees. Maybe we have to show exactly what a Doomsday' looks like.
CTA funding progress? Maybe, maybe not
Crain's Chicago Business—11/14/2007
No one in Illinois government is willing to do the tough things that are necessary, Mr. Madigan said in a clear shot at some of the others in the session. They want to do it on the cheap.
Shouting ends transit meeting early
A meeting this morning among top legislative leaders, Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Mayor Richard Daley to negotiate transit funding devolved into an "unproductive" shouting match, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said.
CTA's other crisis: Rehab needs billions
The CTA says it is more than $6 billion short of adequately modernizing its rail and bus lines, a staggering number lost in the debate as the agency lurches from one "doomsday" to another searching for the tens of millions of dollars it needs to keep operating.
Daley demands a heads-up for CTA doomsday
"They have to tell the people what's going to happen. You don't want to wake up Jan. 1, then find out. You want to inform and educate the people right now and not wait all the way until a week before, around Christmas and New Year's," Daley said.
CTA approves 'doomsday' cuts
The CTA board voted 7-0 today to eliminate 81 bus routes, raise fares to as high as $3.25 a ride and lay off more than 2,400 employees effective Jan. 20 in the latest threatened "doomsday" cuts.
CTA chief fears agency's credibility at risk
"My worst fear about the Band-Aid funding is that people will not believe we continue to be in a bad fiscal position that forces us to cut service and raise fares."
Caught in a doomsday cycle
The Chicago Transit Authority's credibility with the public is plummeting due to the seemingly endless cycle of "doomsday" plans, the agency's president said Sunday as he regretfully began work on yet another round of service cuts and fare hikes slated for early January.
Editorial: Governor not offering any real solutions to transit woes
Don't be fooled. The governor said Friday, "There's no question that we need to address the mass transit issue and it needs to be done quickly." Guess this comes down to what his definition of "quickly" is. His actions over the past 10 months have said anything but. He has offered no solution to transit's money woes, while stymieing, with a veto threat, the only reasonable plan out there.
Chicago's transit budget at a crossroads
Los Angeles Times—11/3/2007
For months, state lawmakers have been locked in debate over how to find more than $226 million to balance the 2007 operating budget for the transit system, which runs buses, the elevated train line known as "the L" and other regional rail, bus and shuttle lines.
No CTA 'doomsday' -- for now
Chicago-area commuters breathed easier Friday after a $27 million state bailout of mass transit systems spared them a ''doomsday'' of major headaches during Monday morning's rush hour.
Transit service cuts, fare hikes called off [temporarily]
Chicago and suburban transit officials called off plans for service cuts and fare hikes this Sunday after receiving federal approval to use $27 million in stopgap funding offered Friday by Gov. Rod Blagojevich and state lawmakers.
No CTA solutions in Springfield yet
"[SB-572] really takes care of itself and is a long-term solution. But they are trying to extort us for their special road projects and bridges. If they can't get what they want, we can't get the necessary funding for mass transit. To them, this is the best leverage they'll have in years to come," state Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-5) told the Defender before the House's session started yesterday.
Governor offers $27 million in transit aid
Seeking to avert a transportation "Doomsday," Gov. Rod Blagojevich today authorized a direct grant to the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace for $27 million to maintain operations until the end of the year, according to a letter he sent to lawmakers today.
CTA bailout in hands of federal government
Crain's Chicago Business—11/2/2007
Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced that hes willing to give the CTA $21 million in unallocated federal grants. That would be enough to tide the agency over until Jan. 1, possibly providing squabbling state lawmakers enough time to come up with a long-term solution.
Funding for transit eyed warily
Skeptical Chicago transit officials forged ahead with plans to cut service and increase fares Sunday despite Gov. Rod Blagojevich's offer of a last-minute, short-term cash infusion that he refused to detail Thursday.
Blagojevich floats new temporary fix
Regional Transportation Authority officials were more direct, saying they won't approve a short-term funding fix for the CTA, Metra and Pace that involves using transit subsidies from next year's budget to solve this year's budget woes.
Transit leaders' optimism wanes
Crain's Chicago Business—11/1/2007
I was more optimistic at the beginning of the week, CTA Chairman Carole Brown said Thursday at a news conference after an RTA board meeting. As we get closer to Sunday, Im getting more nervous.
Regional transit officials warn: 'Doomsday' not just a threat
RTA Executive Director Stephen Schlickman said the board will not support another stop-gap solution, such as temporary funding. Without the transit bill's passage, he promised the RTA will pull the trigger Sunday as planned.
Come Sunday, riders could face dramatic changes in their lives
CTA Riders Sound Off 5 Days Before 'Doomsday'
"They've done their part. Sure they're upset. This is ridiculous. Now, this is the week that adults in Springfield have to do their job," Daley said.
Bus drivers' union puts off plans to challenge CTA
...All of the threats are now on hold, because Illinois' political leaders are reassuring the president of the transit union that a bailout will be approved in Springfield this week. "He is very confident that there will be a resolution, a legislative resolution, to the transit funding crisis," said Melvin Caldwell, transit union lobbyist.
Gambling expansion now a Madigan option
House Speaker Michael Madigan opened the door wider Monday to expanding gambling in Illinois, the strongest sign yet that more casinos may be part of a deal to stave off service cuts and fare increases at the Chicago Transit Authority and suburban transit agencies.
Public hearing held for frustrated riders
On Tuesday night, Huberman absorbed the anger and outrage of frustrated CTA riders, even as he told them the solution is not within his grasp. He told them the solution is in Springfield.
Pace service cuts set to begin this week
St. Charles Republican—10/30/2007
A $50 million budget shortfall has forced Pace Suburban Bus System to make large-scale service reductions and implement fare increases.
CTA called hurdle to Olympics
Pointing to the transit crisis just days away, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) bashed Illinois as "the poster child for neglect" during a congressional field hearing downtown that examined the city's transportation needs if it hosts the Summer Games in nine years.
Despite Looming CTA Cuts, No Action In Springfield
With the doomsday deadline looming for the CTA and Pace, politicians are doing a lot of talking behind the scenes, but there's no action in Springfield and none planned before Friday at the earliest. As CBS 2's Derrick Blakley reports, that may be too little, too late to avert the CTA cuts come Monday.
Madigan lays groundwork for Chicago casino
Crain's Chicago Business—10/29/2007
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan on Monday moved to lay a key piece of groundwork that could expedite expansion of legal gambling here, unveiling a plan to beef up and revamp the panel that regulates gambling in the state.
Madigan: Tax increase would fund transit
Mass transit riders anxious about looming fare increases and service cuts will have to sweat it out a while longer because lawmakers aren't back in session until the end of the week and on Monday there was no apparent deal to come up with more money.
Daley, Madigan weigh in on mass transit aid
Mayor Richard Daley called it "do or die time" on a looming mass transit crisis today as House Speaker Michael J. Madigan said he expects later this week to call for a vote a plan to raise city and suburban sales taxes to avoid cuts to bus and train service.
Transit neglect is linked to Chicago's Olympic hopes
Calling Illinois "the poster child for neglect," U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said the political gridlock in Springfield that has pushed the Chicago Transit Authority toward next week's "doomsday" service cuts and fare increases cannot conveniently be separated from the Daley administration's goal of elevating the city onto the Olympic stage in nine years.
Hidden cost of cuts
The threat of service cuts and fare increases starting Sunday may make even the most sober mass-transit riders reach for a stiff drink, but at least the workers who operate CTA buses and trains are behaving like they're the designated drivers.
Video: Possible CTA Layoffs
It would cost millions of dollars to undo cuts and layoffs.
What transit funding crisis looks like to man in the seat
The Hamos bill is a regional solution to a regional problem. I find tax increases hard to swallow, but this seems the reasonable response to our transit needs. CTA President Ron Huberman and Carole Brown have done a good job of wringing inefficiencies out of the CTA, and any solution requires them to do more, which they have pledged to do.
Metra proposes 10% fare hikes
Raising fares by 10 percent annually for the next three years would mean that riders who now pay $105.30 for a monthly ticket would pay about $116 in 2008 and about $140 in 2010.
Metra budget proposals would raise fares
Crain's Chicago Business—10/25/2007
Metra riders could face 10% fare hikes or the loss of Sunday service next year under budgets proposed Thursday by the commuter rail systems top official. Metra commuters would face dirtier trains as the agency would cut some janitorial services as well as 100 administrative positions.
Metra to raise fares 10 percent
The commuter rail agency's board took the first step Thursday toward raising fares as much as 10 percent starting Feb. 1. To balance its 2008 budget, Metra also is poised to end Sunday service. Plans for any new service, including the SouthEast Service Line to Crete and the suburb-to-suburb STAR Line, will be scrapped.
Gov wants to fund mass transit with $350 million from gas tax
A plan being floated by Gov. Blagojevich to pay for mass transit would siphon revenue from the gasoline sales tax in Cook and the collar counties and route the money to the CTA and its fellow transit agencies, a spokesman for House Minority leader Tom Cross said Wednesday.
Springfield lawmakers continue to work on transit plan
"I will not hold hostage transit riders for casinos. Let me say it again. I'm participating in discussions and conversations. I will not hold hostage transit riders for casinos. I will talk with representative cross and others about casino legislation," said Madigan.
Editorial: Gov isn't treating us to solutions this year
"[...] Assuming our political leaders, who act more like street gangs, get their act together, it will still cost millions for the CTA and Metra to ramp back up."
Plan to bail out CTA hits snag in House
Less than two weeks before the latest "doomsday" deadline for the Chicago Transit Authority, a House Republican bailout plan funded by a cigarette tax hike and vehicle title fee increase went nowhere Wednesday.
Boxing 'test,' transit warnings odd conflict
Take a look at metro-area highways at rush hour, O'Hare during a rain storm, the cuts coming in public transit and the political ineptitude in Cook County and Springfield. Tell us this is a metro area and state ready to host an Olympic Games.
Another Try Toward Funding Transit
The Democratic governor is sending the Illinois House Republican leader as an emissary to the Democratic Speaker of the House to discuss a proposal to resolve an issue that all agree must be addressed. Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Tuesday that he, House GOP leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and both Senate leaders have signed off on a new proposal to provide additional revenue streams to pay the operating costs of the CTA, Metra and Pace.
Pace Gets A Real Earful On Proposed Service Cuts
Squires and the riders who spoke during the hearing at Pace headquarters in Arlington Heights, agreed on one thing. They are dissatisfied with the lack of action by to date by Gov. Rod Blagojevich and legislative leaders in Springfield. There's a problem here that no one in the state (government leadership) seems to take you, CTA or Metra seriously - nobody, said rider James Reynolds, a South Side Chicago resident.
Doomsday Deadline Is Soon for Pace
The failure to pass legislation to bring about new funding for mass transit in our region severely impacts our passengers and the region itself, said Richard Kwasneski, Pace Board chairman. Pace will eliminate all bus service after 7 p.m., and all weekend service as a result of a $32.9 million shortfall on the suburban service budget. It will also cut 24 fixed routes.
Bus stop: Pace cuts coming
The Herald News—10/23/2007
"Nobody wants to do this. It's just an ugly situation," said Mike Bolton, hearing officer and deputy executive director of strategic services for Pace. More than 200 jobs will be eliminated and about 10 million annual passenger trips will be lost.
City's casino cash: no big jackpot
Crain's Chicago Business—10/22/2007
Even without a financial windfall, Mr. Daley seems determined to muscle a casino bill through the Illinois House. (The Senate approved casino legislation Sept. 18.) One reason: Approval appears to be the only hope for passing a measure to provide desperately needed funding for the Chicago Transit Authority.
Editorial: Dan Ryan job is nearly done; now fix mass transit
Now that we have this rebuilt, spotless, safer expressway, the next order of business is this: Everybody needs to get behind the wheel each morning and afternoon and re-create those Dan Ryan traffic jams we know and love. Yes, we realize one of the goals of the reconstruction was to improve traffic flow. We didn't spend nearly a billion dollars just to maintain the status quo.
CTA cuts hit close to home
Commuting to off-campus internships or work-study jobs will be more expensive and difficult if the Chicago Transit Authority's plan to raise fares and eliminate bus service in Evanston takes place.
Creaky CTA Needs a lift
Somehow Springfield doesn't grasp that mass transit moves Chicago's economy, and Chicago's economy drives the state. Our leaders shouldn't wait for the buses and trains to stop running before they pay attention.
Chicago transit to hike fares, cut service
If all the cuts happen as proposed because of a lack of state subsidies, the CTA expects daily ridership to drop by about 250,000, to about 1.35 million. The CTA also plans to lay off about 22 percent of its 11,000 employees.
CTA, Metra unveil plans for fare hikes, service cuts
The Chicago Transit Authority plans to eliminate 43 more bus routes and hike fares to as high as $3.25 per ride in January under the 2008 "doomsday" budget announced today. Also, Metra officials announced today that riders could face a 20 percent fare hike -- double what had been previously predicted as well as service reductions on some lines in February.
CTA fares could hit $3.25
Come Jan. 6, CTA fares would increase to as much as $3.25 and 43 additional bus routes would be eliminated, under the latest doomsday plan proposed by the CTA today. The January cuts and fare hikes are needed to plug a $158 million hole in the agencys 2008 budget, CTA President Ron Huberman said.
'Tremendous Hardship' On Way For CTA Riders, President Says
A cash-strapped Chicago Transit Authority is proposing to cut 82 bus routes, lay off more than 2,400 workers and raise fares to as high as $3.25 for cash-paying 'L' riders.
Transit agencies announce 2008 budget recommendations
With the CTA facing a $158 million shortfall for 2008, CTA President Ron Huberman called next year's a "back to basics" budget. It includes a cut in CTA staff-- with the first layoffs occuring on November 4. There are two sets of cuts planned in November and January for bus routes that, combined, mean 53-percent of the routes will be eliminated.
Another CTA 'doomsday' is looming
Could there be a double dose of "doomsday?" CBS 2 learned Tuesday night of a second round of service cuts planned by the Chicago Transit Authority. They would hit Jan. 8, 2008, shortly after fare increases and service cuts now scheduled for Nov. 4, 2007 and they may lead to labor trouble.
The realities of transit
Transit is not failing in Illinois. It's busier and more popular than at any time since the car euphoria of the '50s and '60s. What's failing is transit's funding mechanism: Its sponsorsthe governor and the General Assemblyhave failed to shed their antiquated views of what transit does and for whom it exists. It's not a business, it's not a welfare function that prosperity will erase, and it's not just for Chicago. Transit is a fundamental mobility resource essential to the entire state.
CTA to detail severe cuts
But with the first of two CTA doomsdays less than a month away, the cost of delay in passing legislation to help the transit agencies has raised the stakes dramatically. It digs a deeper hole that, without any state help, would launch a dismantling of the mass transit system, beginning with much higher fares and deeper service cuts next year.
Transit Fare Hikes, Service Cuts A Month Away
I think it's fair to say we're at the end of our rope, said RTA Executive Director Steve Schlickman.
Real estate transfer tax could fix transit woes
Blagojevich and his legislative allies should embrace the real estate transfer tax as a progressive method of funding transit that burdens big businesses much more than regular people.
Going nowhere, fast
The clock is ticking down to Nov. 4, when the Chicago Transit Authority says it will really really really have to impose fare hikes and service cuts, but a solution to the mass transit funding crisis is now hung up on a plan to add three new casinos.
Transit funding solution needed or we'll all suffer
Our leaders need to realize what the consequences will be and must work together to find a solution before it's too late.
Transit officials unmoved by plan: Blagojevich proposal labeled a 'Band-Aid' that only delays crisis
The head of the Regional Transportation Authority suggested the governor's plan for a $200 million transit loan tied to his construction plan "would only delay" a looming bus and train service crisis, while a top Pace official called the approach a "Band-Aid."
Transit deal not done yet: But Senate's new offer for loan gets cool reception
Transit riders thought they landed a reprieve last week from major service cuts and fare hikes, but it seems an enduring political logjam may quickly lead to another countdown to "doomsday."
EDITORIAL: Public transit benefits all of us
Our terrible traffic is only going to get worse unless we renew our commitment to trains and buses and back it up with some cold hard cash.
New state transit loan considered
[Senate President Emil] Jones surprised Chicago lawmakers by proposing a short-term loan for the Chicago area's struggling transit system rather than moving forward with a vote on a tax package that would raise $435 million a year for the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.
RTA accepts short-term bailout for mass transit
During a morning meeting, the Regional Transportation Authority voted 10-2 to accept the state's bailout plan of the mass transit system. That will postpone the Chicago Transit Authority's plans to cut 39 bus routes and raise fares by up to $1.
Short-term bailout could cause long-term problems
short-term state bailout on Friday temporarily keeps fares down and buses running for Chicago-area mass transit users, but some warn riders could see even steeper service cuts and fare increases without a permanent money fix from lawmakers.
$24 million CTA temporary bailout offered to RTA
Threatened CTA fare hikes and service cuts may be off the table if the RTA board accepts a $24 million bailout from Gov. Blagojevich. In a morning meeting at the Thompson Center, the governor offered to immediately advance the full amount of a state subsidy to the CTA's umbrella organization, the Regional Transportation Authority.
Cute stunt: Gov rides to 'rescue' of CTA
It was a cute stunt all the way around for Blagojevich, in effect allowing the CTA to borrow its own future money, which made it appear he had "found" substantive state assistance while actually just throwing the funding hot potato into somebody else's lap.
CTA offered reprieve till Nov. 4
"On its face, the proposal averts an immediate crisis, but may create an even greater problem in the coming months," RTA Chairman Jim Reilly said in a statement. "Given the current political dynamic in Springfield, the RTA has to decide whether it is prudent to 'hope' legislative leaders and the governor will act to place the regional transit system on sound, permanent footing."
Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has been less than no help at all in the first real effort to get the region's mass transit system back on track, came up with a $24 million funding advance Wednesday to keep the Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses running.
No more phony fixes
The money -- an advance against the CTA's 2008 funding -- would allow the system to keep running until Nov. 4. But if a funding deal isn't approved by then, the CTA will have to make even deeper cuts for the rest of 2007 and will begin its 2008 fiscal year with $24 million already spent.
Transit riders' 'doomsday' is all too close
The minute hand of the Chicago region's mass-transit doomsday clock is advancing perilously close to midnight amid indications Sunday that action on new state funding will mimic many CTA busesarriving late, if at all. The stern message delivered from Springfield is that lawmakers will miss the Chicago Transit Authority's Sunday deadline for a legislative agreement to boost the operating subsidy.
Rates to rise as routes cut
The Beacon News—9/11/2007
"This is my only transportation," White said, as he stepped on the bus to go home Thursday afternoon after buying a light bulb at Jewel-Osco. "I take it all over to do just about everything I need to do." "If they cut this route," he said, "I'm gonna be hard up."
CTA 'doomsday' approaching fast
Barring a last minute miracle, some major routes are about to be cut by the Chicago Transit Authority, leaving thousands looking for a ride.
Contingency Becomes Reality For CTA And Pace
The grim reality is setting in for CTA and Pace officials who had hoped until now to obtain new funding streams and avoid implementing "doomsday" plans. CTA Chair Carole Brown said she is "disappointed." Speaking for top Pace officials, spokesperson Judi Kulm agreed.
Senate vote too late for CTA
A state Senate bill that could have been a last-minute lifeline to CTA riders faced with drastic service cuts and fare hikes wont be up for a vote until after the agencys Sept. 16 doomsday deadline. That makes the prospect of the CTA following through on its threats even more likely, since a similar funding proposal has already failed in the Illinois House.
Pace faces upcoming cuts if Springfield fails to act
Hinsdale Suburban Life—9/7/2007
The bill would secure funding for the Regional Transit Authority, including Pace, by raising real estate taxes and increasing sales tax a quarter percent in Cook County and a half of a percent in the collar counties. State Rep. Kathy Ryg, D-59th District, of Vernon Hills and a longtime member of the House Transportation Committee, was disappointed that the bill failed to gain traction. There was a lot of work that went into this, she said. Everyone was really cognizant that this was a crisis.
Daley pushes transit aid and property-tax relief
Daley expressed disappointment at the state House's defeat Tuesday of a measure that would have mandated a quarter-cent increase on the sales tax in the Chicago area to provide more money for the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace. And he said he is "concerned the governor continues to say he will veto the plan if it passes."
House rejects CTA bailout as cuts near
The Illinois House Tuesday rejected a $534 million mass-transit bailout, boosting the possibility Chicago area train and bus riders could suffer fare hikes and service cuts later this month. The bailout bid, hinged on raising sales taxes in Cook and the collar counties by a quarter percent and imposing a new tax on the sale of property in the city, drew 61 votes. That was 10 shy of what was needed.
CTA: We're not kidding about deadline
Gov. Rod Blagojevich worked actively Tuesday against passage of the bill championed by Huberman and officials from the Regional Transportation Authority, Metra and Pace. Blagojevich instead has championed closing the budget deficit by eliminating tax "loopholes" on business. But when asked by WBBM if Blagojevich has ever presented specifics of his plan, Huberman indicated he has not.
A transit bill breakdown
If Cross doesn't take the brick off the transit bill, it could come back to bite him. His party has been losing seats in the suburbs -- and hundreds of thousands of suburbanites ride the CTA, Metra or Pace every day...So don't blame Blagojevich if your bus isn't running Sept. 17. Right now Tom Cross is in the driver's seat on this one.
Daley pushes transit aid and property-tax relief
Mayor Richard Daley on Wednesday called on Gov. Rod Blagojevich to sign a bill to limit property-tax increases for Chicago homeowners and implored Springfield to provide more funding for public transit before fare increases and service cuts go into effect.
Our pols need ride to reality: Trips on public transit would teach them a lot
One week. We dare lawmakers and the governor, who are treating the public transit funding mess like a game, to get out from behind the wheel and get around on public transportation. Choose your ride.
Time to move on a transportation plan
It is encouraging that state Senate officials said late Wednesday the Senate will convene Monday to discuss transit. Coming up with a prudent, pork-free, mass transit/road program that could meet with public approval might still be a bit ambitious for this legislative session. Plunging the mass transit system into a funding crisis would be more in tune with the turmoil in Springfield, but that can't be allowed to happen.
State Senate to discuss transit Monday
Crain's Chicago Business—9/5/2007
A ray of hope for Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) riders opened late Wednesday when the Illinois Senate was abruptly called back into session for next Monday to discuss a potential rescue package for the CTA, Metra and Pace.
Mass transit overhaul bill faces state showdown
Sweeping legislation that would mark the first major overhaul of northeastern Illinois' mass transit system in nearly 25 years is scheduled to be presented to a roiled Illinois General Assembly on Tuesday.
Transit bill advances in House
Retooled legislation to raise hundreds of millions of dollars that transit agencies say are vital to avoid a "downward spiral" of service reductions and fare increases cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.
Chicago Metropolis 2020 Supports Transit Funding and Reform
We enthusiastically support SB 572 and urge you to vote yes on the legislation. We support the needed increases in taxes to pay for improved service and the reforms that will give the RTA the ability to run a coordinated and more efficient system of buses and rail.
Daley, other leaders rally for transit funding bill
Chicago and suburban political leaders, including House Speaker Michael Madigan and Mayor Richard Daley, urged the public today to press lawmakers and Gov. Rod Blagojevich to support a bill raising $450 million for mass transit.
Madigan throws legislative weight behind tax hike for mass transit
At the largest publicity push yet for transit tax hikes, supporters roped in heavyweight support as Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan unexpectedly took the stage today to urge the measure's approval.
Daley leads rally to support mass transit
Crain's Chicago Business—8/28/2007
Calling Springfield legislators’ inability to pass a transit funding package “a recipe for disaster,” Mayor Richard M. Daley led a rally in support of mass transit Tuesday in downtown Chicago.
RTA still on fast track to cutbacks
There are only 20 days to go before the CTA partially shuts down on Sept. 16 if the state fails to approve additional subsidies to erase a $110 million budget deficit.
Inaction on Transit Threatens Suburban Communities
“Public transit is too important to our communities to let deadlocked politics in Springfield harm commuters across northeastern Illinois,” said State Representative Coulson, Republican from Glenview.
RTA OKs cuts, fare increases
The Regional Transportation Authority on Thursday gave the go-ahead to an unappetizing smorgasbord of CTA and Pace fare increases and service reductions approved by those agencies and scheduled to kick in Sept. 16, unless there's an 11th-hour reprieve from the General Assembly.
RTA chairman says cuts just starting
Regional Transportation Authority chairman Jim Reilly said Thursday the wave of service cuts and fare increases that will start hitting mass transit users next week will not be the last.
CTA exec warns of bigger cuts next year
Crain's Chicago Business—8/23/2007
Chicago Transit Authority service cuts that could take effect next month are just a small taste of what could come next year without new state funding, an agency executive said Thursday. “CTA service would be completely decimated,” cut as much as 75%, CTA Executive Vice-president Dorval Carter said at the Regional Transportation Authority board meeting. “You’ll see CTA customers stranded as their transit options disappear.”
Daley wants sales-tax hike for mass transit
With fare increases and service cuts just days away for Chicago Transit Authority and Pace riders, Mayor Richard Daley on Wednesday renewed his call for Springfield to head off the pain by approving a sales-tax increase for the Chicago area.
Next stop: transit chaos
While some impacts of a public-transit meltdown will be temporary, others could be long-lasting or even permanent. People will lose jobs because they can't get to them; businesses and institutions will lose customers and clients; riders will give up on public transit and embrace automobile commuting; and the progress this region has made in the last decade converting drivers to transit riders will be lost.
State at crossroads on whether to fund transit
While the state's new budget didn't include any money to bail them out, that doesn't mean that new money isn't coming for the region's transit system. State Rep. Julie Hamos, D-18th, who chairs the House Mass Transit Committee says that a comprehensive transit funding bill to address the current and future needs of the region's transit system could soon come up for a vote, in time, she hopes, to prevent the disastrous mass transit contingency plans.
Metra officials prod lawmakers
"This is crisis time," said Metra Chairwoman Carole Doris, releasing a four-page letter to Blagojevich and lawmakers outlining the consequences if they fail to cover a $226 million transit budget shortfall this year. Executive Director Phil Pagano bitterly referred to "a lot of sentiment in Springfield" that Metra doesn't need additional state funding because the commuter rail service is "running so well" and its riders can afford higher fares.
Metra board blasts Springfield inaction
Crain's Chicago Business—8/17/2007
Showing near-palpable disgust, Metra board members Friday blasted Springfield’s inability to pass a funding plan for the region’s cash-strapped public transit agencies.
Editorial: Boost funding to stabilize mass transit
Legislators and the governor should support legislation that would raise the RTA sales tax by 0.25 percentage point throughout the region, and an additional 0.25 percentage point in the collar counties (that money to be controlled by the collar county boards for local transit and road projects), establish a real estate transfer tax in Chicago, and restructure the RTA to strengthen its oversight of Metra, Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority.
We pay for gov's poor leadership: While pols sit idle, other services -- like the CTA -- neglected
Since Gov. Blagojevich spends more time in Chicago than Springfield, surely he has noticed what is a recurring sight: a broken-down CTA bus.
RTA looking for its fair share of cash
Schillerstrom is pushing for the bill, saying it is most likely the best offer for transportation funding the collar counties will ever receive. "I'm afraid if the Republicans don't jump on this, we'll never have something as good," he said, calling the bill "very fair" in its distribution of funds.
Pace board will cut routes, raise fares
Several suburban Pace routes will be eliminated and bus and paratransit service fares will start to rise starting next month as a result of the legislature's failure to approve new funding for mass transit.
Pace puts off fare hikes, route cuts -- for now
Pace will stagger service cuts and fare hikes in hopes the General Assembly can come to the rescue with more money for transportation. The suburban bus provider was set to start raising fares and eliminating routes as soon as Sept. 1, but the Pace board decided Wednesday to make the moves gradually over the next few months.
Lawmakers up the pace for riders
There remains "a good deal of confidence" lawmakers will approve a quarter-cent sales tax hike to fill a $260 million budget hole in the region's train and bus operations, Pace chairman Richard Kwasneski said.
Pace board will cut routes, raise fares
The Pace board of directors voted Wednesday to implement the cuts and fare increases, saying the actions were unfortunate but necessary because of a $50 million budget shortfall this year for bus and paratransit operations.
Survey Highlights Deteriorating Transit Service
A survey released today by Illinois PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) found nearly half of all respondents rank transit service in Northeastern Illinois less reliable today than it was from just one year ago. At the same time, the poll found 66 percent in support of a tax increase to improve transit service in the region.
Pace cuts, fare hikes could be first of many
Pace will decide today if it should go forward with a sweeping round of service reductions and fare increases. Barring an infusion of dollars from Springfield in the next couple of weeks, the area's other transit agencies soon will be making the same hard choices.
Chicago-Area Mass Transit Bill To Go Before Illinois House Committee
More meetings are expected Monday in an attempt to get a funding bill for Chicago-area mass transit moving. A group of lawmakers worked through the weekend to prepare the bill, which is more than 200 pages long, to go before the Illinois House Mass Transit Committee.
Transit bill backer undaunted
Rep. Sidney Mathias (R- Buffalo Grove) said it's time for lawmakers to take action on the mass-transit issue or face looming service cuts. "We are under the gun," said Mathias, the Republican spokesperson on the transit committee.
A decent transit deal
For once, they're not talking about a stopgap funding fix to keep the trains and buses running for another year. The measure on the table would give transit officials the money and the mandate to solve their own problems, sparing lawmakers, transit agencies and commuters the annual fight over who is to blame for the perpetual crisis and who's going to pay to fix it.
Lawmakers tout sales tax to aid RTA
Suburban lawmakers are on the verge of cutting a deal to raise the sales tax by a half-cent to bail out the CTA, Metra, Pace and build more roads. A quarter-cent would go to keep trains and buses running, while the other quarter cent would go to suburban counties to build new roads and widen existing ones.
State funding could help Kane
The collar county sales tax increase would be divided up among those counties. Kane's share is estimated to be about $16 million a year. The money can be used on transit or transportation projects, including roads.
Kane officials praise transit plan
Kane County would get $16 million for transportation projects if state lawmakers approve a proposed sales tax increase to bail out public transit. Along with the other collar counties, Kane County also would have a stronger voice on the governance board of the Chicago-based Regional Transportation Authority under the proposal.
As the clock ticks toward a possible government shutdown, Sen. Martin Sandoval said Thursday he wouldn’t support a state budget that lacks funding for education and transportation.
PACE Gets Earful From Riders On Possible Cuts
Pace bus officials are getting an earful from riders about threats to raise fares and slash service if new funding is not forthcoming from Springfield.
Allowing RTA to remain underfunded, limping along year to year short of needed funds, will kill this region faster then any terrorist plot.
Looming service cuts have Pace riders worried
"This is a failure to listen by public officials," Nunez said Friday aboard the Palatine-Woodfield-Elk Grove Route 699 bus at Schaumburg's Northwest Transportation Center. "It seems like until these individuals start to listen, the people are going to get caught in the squeeze."
Pace Contingency Plan Public Hearings To Begin Monday
Pace is trying to plug a $50 million hole in its 2007 budget. About $23 million stems from Pace suburban bus operations, while the other $27 million stems from its paratransit operations, which cover the entire six-county RTA region.
CTA warns 1,094 about job cuts
The CTA sent notices Wednesday to 1,094 bus and rail employees -- about 10 percent of its unionized workforce, most of whom are front-line workers -- that they will be laid off in September if state lawmakers do not increase CTA funding to help bridge an approximate $100 million budget gap.
CTA vows to start repairs on troubled Blue, Red lines
CTA officials vowed Wednesday to get crews working on the el's Blue and Red line slow zones to alleviate chronically delayed trains and crawling speeds.
CTA to tackle ‘slow zones’ and rider complaints
The CTA today announced plans to make repairs that will address one of riders' chief complaints—so-called slow zones where deteriorated tracks require trains to operate below normal speeds.
CTA to reduce 'slow zones' on Blue, Red lines
Crain's Chicago Business—7/11/2007
Some relief is on the way for frustrated Chicago Transit Authority train riders vexed by “slow zones.”
'Timing is right' for Metra
Metra officials hope to improve service for McHenry County residents by relocating rail yards to Johnsburg and Woodstock, possibly as soon as 2011.
Chicago can't compete without good trains
Now is the time for the legislature and Gov. Blagojevich to provide the RTA the tools it needs to raise the capital to deliver world-class transit service.
Pace, like Metra and the Chicago Transit Authority, plans to cut services if the state doesn't provide more money for mass transit. The three transit services are part of the Regional Transportation Authority, which plans $193 million in cuts.
Pace might face sweeping cuts
For more than a year, the Regional Transportation Authority -- the oversight agency for Pace, Metra and the CTA -- has pleaded with lawmakers to rework the formula that allocates dollars for mass transit. The three agencies, according to the RTA, face a $226 million deficit this year. The General Assembly has done nothing in response.
Editorial: Failing transit
Neglecting to invest adequately and appropriately in this tremendous asset threatens our overall economic security, jobs and future growth potential.
Groups Deems Blagojevich's Stance On Mass Transit Half-Baked
Advocates of more state money for public transit say it shouldn't take a bake sale to keep the buses and trains rolling.
Inching toward a transit deal
Lawmakers have a real opportunity to put the region's troubled transit system back on track. It's time to wake up and deal with it.
Shuttle bug program in jeopardy
Pace suburban bus service has proposed eliminating its popular Shuttle Bug program, which provides free bus service for commuters from area train stations to major employers in Lake and northern Cook counties.
Time for Legislature to step up
Without additional financial support this year, the CTA will be forced to raise fares and cut service, which will hurt everyone, especially those who depend on public transit to go to and from work every day.
RTA steps closer to service cuts
Regional transportation officials Thursday took another step toward imposing a doomsday scenario of fare hikes and service cuts while still holding out hope that legislators in Springfield would address the transit funding crisis this summer.
Gov, mayor must find reliable funding for CTA
The governor needs to see the light and give the region the power to solve its own crisis. The CTA needs a reliable, permanent funding boost -- and so do Metra and Pace, which are also suffering.
Chicago Transit Authority, Union Reach Tentative 5-Year Deal
Mayor Daley, CTA and RTA officials, and labor leaders announced tentative agreement Wednesday on a five-year contract, but said it's no deal unless the General Assembly approves new funding sources.
CTA-Labor Deal Called 'Historic'
The five-year labor agreement between the CTA and its major unions announced Wednesday, and the pension provisions of the agreement, impress a key legislator.
CTA Reaches Agreement With 21 Unions
The CTA has reached a five-year agreement with its 21 unions governing wages, health-care and pension reforms, putting the heat on the General Assembly to act to avert threatened fare hikes and service cuts, the Sun-Times is reporting.
5-year CTA contract comes with a big 'if'
Mayor Richard Daley on Wednesday announced a tentative five-year contract agreement with Chicago Transit Authority workers that requires them to contribute more to their health care and pension benefits, but Daley said the deal hinges on the CTA getting $200 million from Springfield.
Unfortunately our region's transit system has relied on a 24-year-old funding formula that has not accommodated population growth or the loss of federal operating dollars eliminated more than a decade ago.
Fight Expected If Gov. Vetoes Regional Sales Tax Increase
Gov. Rod Blagojevich can expect a fight if he follows through on his pledge to veto an increase in the regional sales tax for mass transit.
Without aid, Metra, Pace plan cuts, fare hikes
Metra will likely increase fares by 10 percent and reduce night and weekend service next year unless state lawmakers come through with additional funding for the agency, officials said Friday.
Pace Threatens Service Cuts If No New Funding
Pace Friday threatened to shut down on weekends, institute a series of other service cuts, stop honoring many CTA passes and increase fares as early as September if no new funding is forthcoming from Springfield.
Tranist needs are real and impact great
Details of the Pace contingency plan
CTA funding is a priority for working families
We all need to know the shocking facts and figures about the enormous potential injury to Chicago families if funding for the CTA from the Illinois Legislature is not forthcoming, resulting in fare increases and even shutdowns.
Transit may up fares
If the governor and state lawmakers do not act soon to provide more money for the Chicago area's transit agencies, suburban train riders will be socked with a 10 percent increase in fares, and weekend and evening service will be discontinued, Metra officials said. The changes would take effect in February.
Doomsday for mass transit?
Pace leaders are eyeing weekend service, 23 main routes and all Metra station feeders for elimination while contemplating a fare hike of at least 50 cents. Metra says it may raise fares 10 percent starting Jan. 1 and slash weekend and night trains on all its lines.
Metra, Pace prepare for cuts
Metra and Pace officials Friday laid out fare-increase and service-cut scenarios they would implement if the General Assembly fails to provide more state funding for transportation.
Metra outlines fare hikes if taxes aren't raised
If lawmakers fail to raise taxes, Metra riders may be paying an extra 50 cents per average ticket and another $11 for a monthly pass next year, transit officials warned this morning. Most weekend service and night routes will also be cut to help fill an estimated $65 million budget shortfall.
Pace's letter to lawmakers
Our agency has remained optimistic and continues to plan for the future despite the uncertainty surrounding transit funding. However, we are required to submit a balanced budget to the RTA and unfortunately without new funding from Springfield the attached action plan very well may become a reality.
Editorial: New regional taxes needed for transit (by Julie Hamos)
With the fate of the region's transit system now in the hands of the Illinois legislature and the governor, let's review the facts: Fact No. 1: There is a transit funding crisis...
Metra would cut service in '08 without new money: exec
Crain's Chicago Business—6/15/2007
Metra would be forced to raise fares and cut service next year if it doesn’t receive additional state funding, the agency’s top official said Friday.
Editorial: Public transit needs reforms, not bailout
We believe the best way to address the regional issue is with a regional solution. While mass transit needs some help from the state, it doesn't need a bailout. What the region's transit authorities really need are the reforms, and the regional taxing authority, to solve the problem themselves.
Lots of complaints, but no progress on new budget
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been urging lawmakers to spend more time at the state Capitol until a new budget is approved. He might be rethinking that position after Wednesday's events.
CTA leaders meeting with Blagojevich
Crain's Chicago Business—6/13/2007
The Chicago Transit Authority’s top two officials are meeting with Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday in Springfield, providing a ray of hope for what’s been an otherwise bleak outlook for transit funding.
CTA Officials Meet With Blagojevich On Budget
The fight to keep the CTA running is back in Springfield. Gov. Rod Blagojevich summoned the new CTA boss Wednesday, to make his case for $110 million in additional state funds.
Blagojevich Demands Bailout For CTA
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has told the state's top legislative leaders that he will not approve a budget that does not include $100 million in additional funding for the CTA.
RTA tax aid is hit with veto threat
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration pledged a veto of a regional sales-tax increase to help fund Chicago-area mass transit, saying Thursday that legislators should consider eliminating more corporate tax breaks instead.
Editorial: Fix the trains and buses
In recent years, legislative sessions have wound down with transit agencies pleading for more money ... or else. This year, there are solutions on the table. That job needs to be finished before the lights go out in Springfield.
Public hearings begin on CTA contingency plan
Public hearings begin Tuesday on the Chicago Transit Authority's contingency plan to reduce service on bus and rail routes and increase fares to balance the agency's budget if new state funding is not provided. Service would be suspended on 63 bus routes, and rail service eliminated on the Purple Line/Evanston Express and on the Yellow Line. In addition, fare increases would range from 25 cents to $1.25 per ride, depending on the time and mode of travel.
Transit leaders sound alarm in funding bid
The future for Chicago-area bus and train users is looking more costly and frustrating.
Funding proposal clears House committee
In slightly better news for the CTA, Metra and Pace, the Mass Transit Committee of the Illinois House approved a $452 million funding proposal backed by the Regional Transportation Authority.
Daley: CTA doomsday cuts, hikes not just a threat
The CTA may sound to riders like the boy who cried wolf with its annual doomsday warnings of fare hikes and service cuts, but this time they’re not bluffing, Mayor Daley warned Thursday.
Not Looking Good For State Transit Funding
Legislators, in a hurry to wrap up their spring session by midnight Thursday, may be leaving Chicago-area transit riders behind at the station.
Editorial: CTA pension, benefit strategy is way to go
The Tribune's May 23 editorial "The CTA's self-help strategy" was exactly right. The CTA's pension is hugely underfunded, and its retiree health-care plan is, to use your term, "outrageous." Retirees have rich health-care benefits but pay no part of the premiums.
Metropolis 2020 urges more state money for transit
Crain's Chicago Business—5/31/2007
Civic group Chicago Metropolis 2020 is urging state lawmakers to earmark more money for local transit operations and broaden the Regional Transportation Authority’s power.
Daley urges gov to rethink priorities
With time running out in Springfield, Mayor Daley urged Gov. Blagojevich today to abandon his universal health care plan — or settle for a cheaper version of it — to fund the higher priorities of education and mass transit.
Transit Advocates' Nerves Get Tested As Budget Deadline Nears
Staring at a midnight Thursday deadline that may derail the already-difficult negotiations to make new transit funding a priority, transit advocates and the legislators who support them are sounding impatient.
CTA considered $7 a ride for rush-hour commuters
The service cuts and fare increases that CTA President Ron Huberman proposed last week to balance the CTA's budget weren't the worst ones on the table.
CTA plea for aid comes amid last-minute Capitol rush
Chicago Transit Authority officials took their doomsday plan to slash service and increase fares to Springfield on Tuesday as prospects for new state transit funding looked increasingly bleak before the legislature's scheduled adjournment Thursday.
CTA Claims Doomsday Plan Is No Scare Tactic
CTA Chair Carole Brown and President Ron Huberman are returning to Springfield armed with a resolution from the CTA's board begging for new money, in an attempt to convince lawmakers to approve new funding, preferably before a supermajority becomes necessary at midnight on Thursday.
CTA chief describes options he didn't choose
Crain's Chicago Business—5/29/2007
One scenario called for raising peak fares to $7 per ride. Another suspended all service on the Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple and Yellow lines, plus 107 bus routes. If the CTA were to do nothing, it would have to suspend all service and lay off its nearly 11,000 employees in October, Mr. Huberman said.
Rough road ahead for bus, train service
The Beacon News—5/29/2007
By David Gialanella STAFF WRITER While all three of the Regional Transportation Authority's transportation agencies are hurting for cash, the Metra commuter rail service appears to be in the best shape. But as the Chicago Transit Authority announced impending service cuts and rate increases last week, Metra officials may feel they are running in first place in the losers' bracket.
Local leaders decry CTA proposals
Crain's Chicago Business—5/25/2007
Local government, business and community leaders on Thursday decried proposed fare hikes and service cuts by the cash-strapped Chicago Transit Authority, saying the moves would harm businesses and commuters.
RTA proposes tax hikes to avert deep CTA cuts
Two hours after the cash-strapped Chicago Transit Authority on Thursday disclosed plans for fares hikes and service cuts, its parent agency proposed tax increases to prevent the unprecedented ridership losses the measures would cause.
Giving fare warning
The CTA will end the Yellow Line and Purple Line Express routes and increase fares to as much as $3.25 by mid-September unless there is new funding to balance its budget, CTA President Ron Huberman warned Thursday.
RTA Unveils Chicago Mass -Transit Funding Plan
After months of asking legislators to decide how to fund to Chicago-area mass transit, the Regional Transportation Authority Thursday got specific.
RTA: Raise Taxes To Fund Public Transit
Chicago Public Radio—5/24/2007
The Regional Transit Authority --the organization that oversees the CTA, Metra and Pace-- says it has a plan to raise more than $400 million in funds, but it'll need lawmakers approval.
CTA may cut Purple, Yellow lines, jack fares
Crain's Chicago Business—5/24/2007
The Chicago Transit Authority on Thursday lowered the doomsday budget boom, declaring that it would have to jack up fares and slash service so much that it will lose 260,000 riders a day unless state lawmakers come to the financial rescue.
CTA President warns of fare hikes
The CTA would end the Yellow Line and Purple Line Express routes and hike fares to as high as $3.25 unless Springfield comes up with $110 million by July 1, CTA President Ron Huberman warned today.
Huntley makes case for mass transit
The resolution calls for the state’s political leaders to devote more money and attention to maintaining and expanding services offered by Metra, the Chicago Transit Authority and Pace. Village officials said they would send a copy of the resolution to Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, and other political leaders.
CTA is doing its part: Legislature must, too
As we have warned repeatedly on this page, the CTA needs $110 million from the state this summer just to keep its buses and trains running without massive service cuts and/or fare increases. It is expected to release a contingency plan today spelling out the steps it will take if that aid does not come through.
CTA to detail ride cuts, fare hikes today
The Chicago Transit Authority today will lay out a combination of fare increases and service cuts that will be implemented as early as July if the state does not provide an additional $110 million in transit subsidies to the agency, according to agency officials.
RTA fare card among victims of budget ax
The Regional Transportation Authority plans to scrap development of a universal fare card until next year because of a looming $226 million shortfall in state transportation funding.
RTA warns of more cuts -- again
RTA executive director Steve Schlickman said more cuts are coming as the CTA, Pace and Metra attempt to erase an approximately $226 million budget deficit this year. Increased fares and reduced service could begin as soon as July 1. The CTA, Schlickman said, will unveil a plan Thursday for "drastic" service cuts.
Editorial: The CTA's self-help strategy
The CTA has enough money in its employee retirement fund to cover only about one-third of its liabilities. Without a fix, it could run dry by 2012 -- and taxpayers will have to come up with the money to pay those benefits
CTA's operating deficit exceeds projection in 1st quarter
Crain's Chicago Business—5/22/2007
The Chicago Transit Authority’s first-quarter gap between expenses and revenue was $8 million more than it had budgeted, according to financial data released by the agency.
RTA to defer $7.5 million in spending
Crain's Chicago Business—5/22/2007
The RTA said it would freeze hiring, suspend non-urgent travel and put $3.6 million in planning projects on hold, including efforts to implement a universal fare card, according to a statement from the agency.
CTA aims to cut worker benefits
CTA officials uncorked proposals Monday to save an estimated $32 million a year by requiring transit agency employees and retirees to pay more toward pensions and health insurance.
More dire CTA forecasts: Fare hikes, service cuts could be near
CTA fare increases and service cuts will be unavoidable this summer if the legislature doesn't get on board with more state funding, the transit agency's new boss said Thursday.
CTA chief warns of fare hikes, service cuts
The new head of the Chicago Transit Authority warned today for the first time that riders would see fare increases and service cuts if Springfield fails to come through with $110 million that the transit agency needs to balance its budget.
CTA chief: Fares up, service down if no bailout
Crain's Chicago Business—5/17/2007
Chicago Transit Authority President Ron Huberman for the first time publicly pledged to raise fares and cut service if Springfield legislators don’t provide a funding bailout to the struggling agency.
CTA: No Money From Springfield = Service Cuts, Fare Hikes
CTA President Ron Huberman is promising fare hikes and service cuts if legislators fail to provide new funding sources in the next few weeks.
Daley takes agenda to Springfield
The lighthearted banter in Jones' Capitol office belied the seriousness of the mayor's pitch to pump up funding for city schools and mass transit.
Daley Lobbies For More Funding For Schools, CTA
Daley is upset by indications from the governor and legislators that this General Assembly stalemate could drag on all summer, jeopardizing the CTA and the Chicago Public Schools.
Daley urges gov, law makers to compromise on funding
Mayor Daley urged Gov. Blagojevich and feuding Democratic legislative leaders Wednesday to check their egos at the door and unite on an education and transit funding compromise that includes a state income tax increase and, possibly, a land-based, government-owned Chicago casino.
Stop holding transit hostage in Springfield
The governor is essentially holding mass transit hostage, promising to help find more money for it only if lawmakers support his controversial new tax. With that tax plan going nowhere, it appears likely that transit funding is at risk. But it shouldn't be.
CTA Chief Warns of Service Cuts
Chicago Public Radio—5/15/2007
Huberman has promised to streamline the agency, and regain the confidence of lawmakers and riders alike. But time is running out to fill the CTA's budget gap.
Riding transit to more money and better schools
The discussion so far has been on the commuters who will be inconvenienced or outright stranded. However, the findings of several recent studies should further compel Illinois leadership to invest in transit.
Counties join Pace in push for increased state funding
The Beacon News—5/13/2007
Rate increases and service cuts are looming for the suburban Pace bus system, if the state fails to come up with additional funding.
CTA chief clips 49 jobs for now
On his 10th day on the job Thursday, CTA President Ron Huberman nibbled at non-essential internal expenses, announcing $12.5 million in administrative cuts from the transit agency's $1.1 billion annual operating budget.
CTA chief cuts 49 jobs, says riders won't notice
New CTA President Ron Huberman made good on his pledge to "tighten the belt" at the CTA, announcing plans Thursday to eliminate 49 administrative positions and make other cuts that would save the agency $12.5 million in operating expenses.
New CTA president details $12.5 million in cuts
Crain's Chicago Business—5/10/2007
Cutting expenses alone will not be enough to solve the CTA’s financial woes. If cash from the Legislature isn’t forthcoming by July 1, fare hikes and service cuts could soon follow.
CTA announces administrative cuts, but more may be needed
"Management efficiencies alone will not be enough to solve the CTA's financial problems," Huberman cautioned. "The gap between needs and resources grows wider every year."
CTA Cuts 49 Jobs In Effort To Tighten Budget
Even with the cuts, the CTA still faces a $110 million budget gap for the second half of 2007. Huberman on Thursday repeated a call to legislators in Springfield to allocate more money for public transit.
New CTA leader announces cuts
Newly appointed CTA President Ron Huberman today took a first stab at reducing the agency's administrative costs by announcing the elimination of 49 management positions and other cuts totaling $12.5 million.
Counties back Pace on funding
The Courier News—5/10/2007
Kane County Board Chairwoman Karen McConnaughay -- along with board chairmen from Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kendall and Will counties -- recently signed on to a letter to Gov. Rod Blagojevich petitioning Springfield for more transportation funding.
CTA cited in report on U.S. transportation infrastructure
Crain's Chicago Business—5/9/2007
A report released Wednesday by the Urban Land Institute cited the Chicago Transit Authority in describing an “emerging crisis” caused by the nation’s lack of investment in transportation infrastructure relative to other countries. “Chicago alone needs $6 billion to bring its subways into ‘a state of good repair,’” according to the 69-page report, which was co-published with Ernst & Young LLP.
Aldermen go to Springfield for CTA
In an effort to keep Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) customers from having to pay higher fares in the near future, 12 aldermen traveled to Springfield Tuesday morning to ask state legislators for more funds.
Advocates: Governor Is Holding Transit Hostage
Chicago Public Radio—5/8/2007
A coalition of non-profits is imploring the governor to pull transportation and infrastructure funding into the mix. Jacky Grimshaw of the Center for Neighborhood Technology says the governor’s stubborn focus on his tax plan neglects a pending crisis.
Business sends SOS to state about RTA
If the Illinois General Assembly does not act immediately to reform and refinance the region's mass transit system, the Chicago area's economic health will be jeopardized, according to an influential group of business leaders.
Business Leaders Urge RTA Reform and Tax Hikes to Pay for World Class Mass Transit
Chicago Metropolis 2020—5/8/2007
Arguing that mass transit reform and funding must be a high priority for General Assembly action this month, business and civic leaders in the Chicago region on Tuesday, proposed a series of administrative reforms and tax increases that would provide the revenue needed to avert a growing fiscal crisis at the Regional Transportation Authority and give commuters an expanded, efficient world-class transportation system.
More state transit money would take 'crisis,' 2 experts say
Crain's Chicago Business—5/7/2007
A group calling itself Concerned Commuters of Northeastern Illinois staged a Monday-morning press conference in downtown Chicago urging the governor to “take leadership” in securing more transit dollars.
RTA warns about worsening transit system
"The time is now and the decision is in Springfield," said RTA Chairman Jim Reilly. CTA, Metra and Pace riders are being warned: if lawmakers do not come up with money, expect service cuts and fare hikes.
Transportation authority bemoans budget shortfall
The Regional Transportation Authority said Thursday that fare hikes, layoffs and service cuts are all possible ways it may deal with a budget shortfall unless lawmakers take action.
Transit costs to rise for summer
The Herald News—5/5/2007
The area's transit agencies Thursday issued a final warning: Without some financial relief out of Springfield, higher fares, system breakdowns and service cuts are coming as soon as this summer.
Transit funding lamented
Frustrated regional transit officials all but conceded Thursday that their strategy for winning a major increase in state funding by building grass-roots consensus has failed so far.
Metra, CTA and Pace: Start preparing for the worst
To fill a $226 million deficit, the Regional Transportation Authority ordered Metra, Pace and the Chicago Transit Authority to begin preparing emergency budgets to take effect July 1.
Transit funding lamented: More state support crucial, agencies say
Transit officials warned that fare increases, service cuts and further diversion of capital funds to pay for day-to-day operating needs will be necessary unless the state legislature heeds calls for new funding.
RTA: System 'doomsday' looms July 1
They say they're still optimistic, but leaders at the Regional Transportation Authority want the CTA, Metra and Pace to be ready by July 1 to implement "doomsday" service cuts and fare hikes to balance their budgets if the Legislature fails to come through with additional funding.
Metra, CTA and Pace: Start preparing for the worst
The area's transit agencies Thursday issued a final warning: Without some financial relief out of Springfield, higher fares, system breakdowns and service cuts are coming as soon as this summer.
'All options on the table' if no state transit bailout
Crain's Chicago Business—5/3/2007
Lacking any commitment from Springfield lawmakers for desperately needed operating funds, transit leaders won’t say what might happen if those funds aren’t secured by July 1.
Transit Leaders Warn of Funding Crisis
Urgency was the word of the day for transit funding at the RTA Board meeting Thursday, and more than 700 different organizations are on board for a push to ask Springfield for more money.
Transit on the brink
Medill Reports Chicago—5/3/2007
At the RTA board meeting Thursday morning, the heads of the Chicago Transit Authority, Pace and Metra said that fare hikes, service cuts and layoffs could be on the horizon if they don’t get the $226 million in operating funds they need by July 1 to close the 2007 budget shortfall.
Transit official: 'Moment of crisis'
The CTA, Metra and Pace are contemplating fare hikes, service cuts and further diversion of capital funds to pay for day-to-day operating needs unless the state legislature heeds calls for new transportation funding, officials warned today.
'All options on the table' if no state transit bailout
Crain's Chicago Business—5/3/2007
Lacking any commitment from Springfield lawmakers for desperately needed operating funds, transit leaders won’t say what might happen if those funds aren’t secured by July 1. At least two options — fare hikes and service cuts — would pain transit riders.
Breaking the doomsday cycle
The best thing that happened to mass transit riders this year was an Illinois auditor general's report that showed both sides are right: The CTA is underfunded and mismanaged. Maybe now they can stop arguing about whose fault it is and fix it.
Underfunded transit near end of the line
We have been warning for months about the financial cliff that our region's mass transit system is about to fall off unless the Legislature provides a huge funding boost.
More money for Brown Line rehab
The federal government on Wednesday got caught up on financing its share of the CTA Brown Line rehabilitation project with a new payment of $36 million, members of Illinois' congressional delegation said.
Huberman hops aboard CTA
Huberman is spending his first full day on the job in Springfield today, lobbying for cash to plug the CTA's $5.8 billion capital funding shortfall.
New CTA president approved
Huberman said the CTA cannot manage itself out of the problem of inadequate funding. He said the CTA, as well as Metra and Pace, still need more money to maintain the current system, improve operations and expand the regional transit system for future growth. But he is talking the talk that officials in Springfield haven't heard enough of from the CTA.
New CTA president says customers 'my top priority'
Crain's Chicago Business—5/1/2007
Pledging to make performance for customers “my top priority,” veteran city official Ron Huberman officially took over Tuesday afternoon as president of a Chicago Transit Authority that faces enormous operating and financial woes.
Huberman officially named head of CTA
Mayor Richard M. Daley's former chief of staff was named Tuesday as the new head of the Chicago Transit Authority, the nation's second-largest transit system.
CTA board expected to OK new president Tuesday
Crain's Chicago Business—4/30/2007
The Chicago Transit Authority’s board is expected Tuesday to approve Mayor Richard Daley’s nomination for CTA president.
More state funds for Pace paratransit program needed
Pace, the suburban bus agency that now has responsibility for all paratransit bus service in the Chicago area, needs $27 million more from the state to sustain that service. This is an essential service that government and society must ensure operates properly. Lawmakers in Springfield need to cut through the budget pork and find a way to come up with the funding.
New system holds hope for transit riders
The CTA said Monday it will become the first transit agency in the country to develop a system to track the exact location of every bus on every route. The agency will use the information from the Bus Tracker system to keep buses on schedule and prevent bus bunching.
Is CTA chair next to go?
Now that Mayor Daley has dispatched his chief of staff Ron Huberman to the CTA -- to become its president and day-to-day boss -- Brown's days as part-time board chairwoman could be numbered. It all depends on her ability to step back and put aside differences with Huberman.
Even if not on time, it'll be online
GPS devices soon will allow CTA customers to check where their bus is online and how long they have to wait.
CTA expands tracking program to all routes
In a move that will take the guesswork out of waiting for the bus, the CTA board on Monday approved the systemwide launch of a new software system that will tell riders exactly where their bus is and how long they have to wait.
CTA to expand bus-GPS system
The Chicago Transit Authority board today decided to move ahead with a system that will allow customers to track the location of every bus on the street.
New CTA chief helps, but it'll be uphill climb
It's certainly legitimate to hold Kruesi accountable for management issues and some service disruptions. But some of the criticism is unfair or misdirected. Kruesi's chronic complaints about CTA funding problems, for instance, were vindicated by a recent report from Illinois Auditor General William Holland.
Rights & wrongs
Commuting for the disabled has gotten a lot better, but not good enough
CTA's new president will need adequate funding to accomplish goals
Metropolitan Planning Council—4/20/2007
No matter how tight a ship Huberman runs, the CTA's ability to meet current and future demand ultimately rests with the Illinois General Assembly: with the CTA's costs outweighing revenues by a 3 to 1 ratio - and no relief in sight - what the agency needs more than anything is a significant infusion of capital and operating revenues to maintain and expand service.
President of Troubled Chicago Transit System Resigns
New York Times—4/20/2007
The chief executive of the nation’s second-largest public transit system resigned Thursday as the agency grapples with budget shortfalls, a major railway reconstruction project and complaints from disgruntled riders.
New leader's track record: cleaning up government
With the clock winding down on the legislative session, Huberman must cut costs and smooth feathers Kruesi ruffled in Springfield. Depending on how he does, CTA riders will either dodge another bullet or face a combination of massive service cuts and fare hikes.
Editorial: Throwing Kruesi from the train
Lawmakers recognize that they must come up with more money for transit, although only in tandem with serious reforms. But many of them still approach the task grudgingly, and Daley knows why.
End of the line for CTA boss
Convinced that CTA President Frank Kruesi has made too many enemies in Springfield, Mayor Daley on Thursday took that polarizing issue off the table in the quest for mass transit funding.
A shift in tone for CTA's helm
With the rift widening between the city and the suburbs over transit funding, Mayor Richard Daley replaced the polarizing president of the Chicago Transit Authority with an administrator known to be tough, but conciliatory.
Daley: City's Olympic bid panel seeks top executive
Transportation and security needs should Chicago host the 2016 Summer Olympics dominated a meeting between members of the Illinois congressional delegation and Mayor Richard M. Daley, who was in Washington Thursday to press the city's federal agenda.
CTA boss out; top Daley aide to replace him
CTA President Frank Kruesi, who has become a lightning rod for criticism among CTA riders and legislative leaders, resigned today and handed the reins to Mayor Daley's corruption-fighting chief-of-staff Ron Huberman.
CTA chief Kruesi steps down
CTA President Frank Kruesi is resigning, Mayor Richard Daley announced today. Daley said at a morning news conference that he is putting forward his chief of staff, Ron Huberman, to take over the transit agency.
CTA chief Kruesi steps down
Crain's Chicago Business—4/19/2007
Embattled Chicago Transit Authority President Frank Kruesi is stepping down, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced Thursday.
Transit chiefs put focus on funds (story on audit hearing)
Top officials with the CTA and the Regional Transportation Authority on Monday recommended measures to deal with the huge and ever-increasing shortfall in the CTA employee pension fund, including retiree health care benefits that may run out of money this year.
RTA Trip Planner modified to help Brown Line riders
The Regional Transportation Authority on Tuesday announced a new planning option that will help CTA riders find alternatives to routes affected by the Brown Line reconstruction project.
All-transit fare card is on way
Commuters in the Chicago area may soon have the means to make transferring between trains and buses much easier: a single fare card that works on Metra, CTA and Pace.
Red Line extension gets push CTA targets 3 of 9 options in growth plan
The Chicago Transit Authority recommended three possible routes Tuesday night for extending the Red Line from its current end point at 95th Street to a new rail terminal at 130th Street serving Far South Side residents and suburban park-and-ride commuters.
CTA, Pace Planners Consider Fare Hikes, Service Cuts
The Regional Transportation Authority Thursday told the CTA, Metra and Pace to prepare a list of potential fare hikes and service and spending cuts that can close a $226 million budget gap beginning in July.
Looking to make most of rail line
Schaumburg planning to build around STAR
New trustee readies herself for position on Elburn’s board
Two issues that concern Romke are the increase in traffic as the village continues to grow, and the accessibility of the Elburn Metra station. “It’s not really walk-able. I think it’s something that has to be addressed,” she said, pointing out that the issue may become resolved after the land surrounding the train station is developed.
Chicago Trails In Luring Drivers To Buses, Trains
Gasoline prices are skyrocketing once again, but Chicago is notably lagging behind other big cities in the number of motorists moving to mass transit.
Budget shortfall looms for Chicago-area transit
Northwest Indiana Times—4/8/2007
Without more money from the Illinois General Assembly by July 1, the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace will have to figure out how to make up a budget shortfall, the Regional Transportation Authority said Thursday.
CTA, Pace Planners Consider Fare Hikes, Service Cuts
The Regional Transportation Authority Thursday told the CTA, Metra and Pace to prepare a list of potential fare hikes and service and spending cuts that can close a $226 million budget gap beginning in July.
Region's transit bosses prepare Plan B
Another warning Thursday that the Chicago area's mass transit system needs more money to keep operating: the Regional Transportation Authority says it is trying to figure out how to keep trains and buses running despite a need for millions more in funding.
Daley says CTA needs more state funding
Crain's Chicago Business—4/4/2007
Mayor Richard Daley has joined an ever-increasing crowd calling for the General Assembly to step up funding of the Chicago Transit Authority.
Editorial: Stay on track
New York Times—4/4/2007
Americans made 10.1 billion trips on public transportation last year, the highest that ridership has risen in nearly half a century.
Getting an earlier jump on area's commuters
Growth of ridership on predawn trains means business owners move up their own wake-up calls
Red, Orange, Yellow, Circle: Extensions, new L lines under study
As the CTA modernizes its existing rail system with the launch of a massive construction project this week, plans to extend and create L lines remain on the table.
Kane has a vested interest in CTA
The Beacon News—3/30/2007
Kane County officials want it understood they are not against more state funding for the Chicago Transit Authority.
Financial Crisis Might Cause Delays, Force CTA To Raise Fares
Chicago Transit Authority Purple Line passengers might face increased fares, more construction delays and continued deterioration of outdated trains as Chicago's mass transit system confronts its biggest financial crisis since 1983.
Gridlock on the Lake
By neglecting its transport system, Chicago is gambling with its future
Everyone on board?
The suburban bus agency is taking its first steps this week in overhauling its service area that encompasses Will County and south Cook County, a territory that includes five of its 10 busiest routes.
Chicago's El may be headed for a shutdown
United Press International (UPI)—3/26/2007
The president of Chicago Transit Authority has confirmed that the city's elevated train may be on its last legs.
A Rail System (and Patience) Stretched Thin in Chicago
New York Times—3/26/2007
The century-old elevated train system here is as much a city fixture as the towering skyline and the piercing blue waters of Lake Michigan. But deteriorating tracks and trains, chronic budget shortfalls and a region ever more dependent on rail service are forcing Chicagoans to confront the possibility that ...
Metra planning in the works
City council members Tuesday approved a maintenance and operation agreement with Metra for a new, 122-space parking lot off York Avenue near Joliet Union Station.
CTA [pension] only 34% funded
Pensions & Investments—3/19/2007
The Retirement Plan for Chicago Transit Authority Employees is in “extremely poor financial condition” with a 34.4% funded ratio, according to the Illinois Auditor General William Holland’s report on northeastern Illinois mass transit agencies. The funded ratio was 39.4% in 2005 and 79.9% in 2000.
Double fares might not even help CTA
Bus and train fares could double and still not keep Chicago area mass transit systems from being awash in red ink, the state's top auditor warned Thursday.
Mass transit needs big fix
The Beacon News—3/16/2007
The financial condition of the Chicago area's mass transit systems is so precarious that even doubling fares wouldn't generate enough money to bail them out, the state's top auditor said Thursday.
Audit Finds Public Transit In Financial Disaster
The state's top auditor said in his first ever report Thursday that mass transit in northern Illinois is in a serious financial crisis that reaches into the billions of dollars.
Auditor: Transit in crisis
Even if passenger fares on the CTA, Metra and Pace were to double, the additional revenue wouldn't even dent the multibillion-dollar funding shortfall that now confronts public transportation in northeastern Illinois, the state's top fiscal watchdog said Thursday.
Auditor: Chicago-area mass transit needs overhaul
financial condition of the Chicago area's mass transit systems is so precarious that even doubling fares wouldn't generate enough money to bail them out, the state's top auditor said Thursday.
Chicago mass transit faces shortfall: auditor
The Chicago area's mass transit agencies face a serious financial shortfall, according to Illinois Auditor General William Holland, who added fuel on Thursday to the agencies' argument that a big funding boost was needed.
CTA To Bring In New Farecard Machines, Flight Info
The Chicago Transit Authority is adding fare card machines that increase the number of options for card purchases.
What Will It Take For CTA To Operate Better?
The CTA is hoping to win approval for an ambitious plan to update tracks, trains and towers.
Olympic dreams for CTA
It's appealing to dream that Chicago hosting the world for two weeks of Summer Games might some way, somehow help reverse decades of neglect of the region's mass-transit system.
Metra expands service to aid CTA riders
Crain's Chicago Business—3/5/2007
Metra will boost its Union Pacific North Line to give commuters an alternative in light of construction-related delays in the Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated train service.
Metra Budget Tight Despite Ridership Increase
Despite seeing a record number of passengers in 2006, Metra's additional rider revenue does not offset the company's near $269 million deficit in its 2007 operating budget.
Slow zones lead to Blue Line blues
Track conditions on the O'Hare and Dearborn Street subway sections of the Blue Line are deteriorating faster than the Chicago Transit Authority can fix them. The reason? There's no money.
RTA may get oversight powers
As Regional Transportation Authority officials appealed to the state Friday for additional billions of dollars to operate Chicago-area mass transit, lawmakers introduced a measure to give the RTA unprecedented control over the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.
Bill would sharply boost RTA's power
Crain's Chicago Business—2/13/2007
If the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace want more money from Springfield, they’re going to have to cede power to a Regional Transportation Authority that now lacks the clout to supervise them.
Officials: More passengers riding Metra, Amtrak in Illinois
Metra, which operates Chicago's commuter rail system, recorded 84.3 million passenger trips in 2006, the most in the company's history, and a 5.2 percent increase over 2005, officials said.
Transit officials seek $10 billion from state
RTA plan includes ideas to raise funds
RTA: Transit needs $2 billion state boost
Northwest Indiana Times—2/11/2007
Hoping to avoid service cuts and fare increases, Chicago's Regional Transportation Authority on Thursday approved a budget plan that calls on the state to provide [new money].
Transit agencies go after billions
After warning for months that northeastern Illinois is in dire need of improvements to its commuter rail, bus and subway network, top transportation officials on Thursday will propose ways to come up with billions of dollars they say are needed to keep the system running.
CTA woes: funding outlook grows dim
Crain's Chicago Business—2/4/2007
Chicago-area transit bosses this week are scheduled to officially unveil their funding requests for the legislative session that opened last month.
Crain's Investigates: What's wrong with the CTA
Crain's Chicago Business—1/22/2007
A $6-billion shortfall. Suspect decisions. Soaring ridership. Can our train system be fixed?
More ammo in the fight for more money
More ammo in the fight to get more money for buses and trains: The Chicago Transit Authority in 2006 enjoyed its busiest year in 13 years.
CTA riders flocked to `L' trains in '06
Chicago Transit Authority ridership inched up 0.5 percent overall in 2006 from the previous year, with a relatively strong gain on trains offset by a drop-off in bus customers, the agency reported Monday.
CTA Ridership Up Last Year, But Budget Woes Loom
These substantial gains mark a turnaround from the period between 1985 and 1997, the agency says, when insufficient public operating funding resulting from a 1983 state law "contributed to a downward spiral of service reductions, rapidly escalating fares, and major ridership losses."