More than 100 people showed up this morning for the last of four public meetings on the CTA's contingency plan to balance its budget.
The CTA board was supposed to vote on the proposed service cuts and fare increases right afterward. But the vote was postponed because CTA President Ron Huberman and board Chair Carole Brown were called to meet with the governor and state legislative leaders in Springfield.
No word yet on what's going to come out of that meeting, but the hope is that it will be good news for the CTA.
Governor Blagojevich has said that he won't approve a budget that doesn't include at least $100 million for the CTA, which has a $97.5 million deficit for 2007. But he also said that he won't support a sales tax increase in the collar counties, which is the funding mechanism the Regional Transportation Authority is pushing.
CTA riders, meanwhile, expressed outrage at the proposed service cuts and fare increases the CTA has said it will resort to in September without additional state funding. Yet, many also acknowledged that the public hearing was an exercise in futility, since the real answer to the problem is "in Springfield...not in this room," as one rider put it.