Chicago Sun-Times

CTA board OKs fare hikes, service cuts

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It's official. The CTA will cut several bus routes and raise fares on Sept. 16 unless the state legislature comes up with additional funding to plug the agency's budget shortfall.

The plan approved by the CTA board on Wednesday is a less severe version of what was proposed in May. It seems hundreds of rider complaints at the public meetings held in June made CTA officials revise the plan, so that it has a less severe impact on transit-dependent, low-income riders.

Read more about it here.

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22 Comments

C(runch) T(rample) A(buse). First I just want to ask train operators to: 1. Stop thanking me for my patience, as I have and haven't had for years, any patience whatsoever with their arrogant a*ses; 2. Please, if you have to stop your train due to signals, why must you inch forward several times making the wait that much miserable as you jolt your passengers back and forth with your ignorance; 3. Please with your b.s. CTA personnel (most without any personality) should be mandated to use the service? at least some of the time, thereby giving them a sense as to what their riders have to go through; and 4. (but not in the least the last!) fire all those so-called "security officers" who hang around and are clueless as to what is going on around them, other than what's in the newspapers they are reading, or the happenings that their pals are conveying to them via cellular phone.

p.s. I was on my way home last evening and the North/South was not operating - I did, however, without knowing, get through to the station (Grand & State) only to discover that there was no service! The so-called guard (who wouldn't let me have her name or badge number, told me that there wasn't any service) She was more pissed off at me because I awoke her from her nap (she was napping on the bench) and was irritated that the so-called "station agent" actually missed me going through to the tracks! So here we have the agent, who saw me putting my card through, and going down the stairs, (she must have been busy with her paper or phone call, or ??) and the ignorant "security guard" LOL! being indignent at me for disturbing her "rest." (I want that job!) Sooooo... now you're telling me the CTA is cash strapped when the elimination of the useless "security guards" would probably solve the problem, in addition to other USELESS CTA employees who just show up and put in their hours...

p.s.s. And this Huberman guy, what a crock! First Daley finally can't protect his guy Carusi, so he makes himself look good by having him ousted and replaced by another puppet who has the gall to ask CTA customers to call government officials and beg them to give money to the CTA! or the service (on occasion) will have to be cut in order to preserve the "payroll" for it's employees! Wait! the first obligation should be US! not the employees who obviously don't give a damm about the riders/customers who help put that check in their hands in the first place!

I'm starting to get on a roll here, but I think I have to step off my soapbox... I hope all who read this is on the same page I'm on! Thanks for letting me vent!

I agree with ANNIE 100%

This is my problem. I take the 39th Street bus (Pershing/St. Louis to the Orange Line). Its already bad enough that the bus takes forever. The mornings aren't that bad but by 5:30 p.m. the bus runs every half an hour.

On Monday I had school and took the train home. I got to the train station (35th & Archer) and waited for the 39th bus. When it finally got there the bus driver told the "station manager" that his route was empty, that no one was getting on... so the "station manager" said not to move to another route... that means that was I got lucky and just made it. Anyone who was late got screwed and who knows how they got home.

Taking the train is already a disaster. After work the trains are full. People are even ignorant to get on when they see that there is no mor room. I dont blame them were all trying to get home. Yesterday I was very upset because I was literally rubbing butts with the person next to me. I was so upset and extrememly frustrated.

Cutting service is going to be a nightmare. Unfortunately I have no choice. Were all screwed!

Cut price and go for volume. It works for other businesses. The cheaper the fare, the more people use it, the more revenue is generated. What we have here is just the opposite. Raise the fare, less people use it, less revenue is generated and the hole is deeper.

hmmm, I wonder what's going to happen to us over on the Southeast side of town. The wonderful #14 bus. If there are anymore cuts on this line (it won't be a line). We keep the #14 keeps CTA running. They are thousands of people who take this line. We ONLY wait 30 minutes in the morning to catch a bus to the loop. We have to leave 1 1/2 hours early to get to work on time. In the evening we wait 15 minutes or more only to stand up going home being thrown around on Lake Shore Drive on a PACKED BUS with no air and windows are nailed shut. We have been promised new buses for two years. Our kids are being late for school. We have 25 people at a stop at times then here comes a small bus. In the evening at the end of the line (Jefferson & Washington) there are buses sitting there while we have to wait forever, but lo and behold here comes the #20, 56, 127, 38 at least twice before we see a #14 move. You got to be kidding me talking about raising the fare for what? Does this sound like fun. Oh, we do complain to no avail?

If CTA is so strapped for cash, why is it a SPONSOR for everything? If you notice ads on any bus or train, they list all the sponsors at the bottom. CTA sponsors everything from "Niki in the Park" at the conservatory to "CoolGlobes" to every single neighborhood festival that happens in the City of Chicago! How many thousands or millions of dollars is CTA spending on this?

Apparently, CTA has bags of money to hand out. They have money for ANYTHING other than operating costs. They need to stop sponsoring all these events as if they were a rich, for-profit corporation. How asinine can you get? Meanwhile, service suffers and riders are threatened with ridiculous fares.

Please help answer this - and Please support our effort to get connections from TRAIN to BUS.

1) Why do the Trains wait up to 5 minutes each day while pulling into Midway? Midway has three tracks and most of the time one or two track are empty.

2) What does FLASHING RED " T " near Bus Platform mean? They are found at Midway and other stations where TRAIN and BUS connect.


Here is the observation.
1)
We miss our bus because train is waiting 2-5 minutes each day to pick a track to pull into at MIDWAY station.
Several of us riders and I see no reason a CTA TRAIN at Midway need to wait 2 - 5 Minutes before pulling into a station when one or more train track is empty. During this wait time our bus leave.

While the train is waiting to pull into a TRACK, we miss the Pace/CTA bus and must wait 1 hour for next while card expire.
If this was the last PACE/CTA I must call a cab. I don't make a lot of money.
( for that matter I found the same problem at Cermak or Forest Park stations. )

2)
Why do CTA/PACE Buses PULL AWAY , when they see the BIG RED "T" start to flash? I thought the flashing "T" meant a "TRAIN is pulled in, Bus should wait for passengers".

What does FLASHING RED " T " near Bus Platform mean?

Thank you. Rider-stuck-on-track

If you can't raise fares on everyone who rides CTA then don't raise them at all Start cutting from the top Humberman is Daley's man to cut service and when he wants layoff's this guy is the man to do it so it won't make the mayor look like a bad guy. And these special riders keep voting him in. Wake up working people we are being screwed.

Does the CTA realize that the 93 North California bus serves two hubs, (Brown and purple lines), six school, sheltered workshops, the working poor, most seniors than in any other part of the city, the disabled adults, and high school and college students? Of course, you would pick out this line to be cut. Tell me Mr. Huberman, do your senior family members rely on this public transportation or is this just for us older citizens that walk with canes?

AS A SPECIAL USER I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE FARES NOT AFFECTING US. I KNOW IT IS A HARD JOB DECIDING WHO SHOULD BE AFFECTED.

Posted by: JAN MARIE | August 9, 2007 10:59 AM

Jan Marie, first it is not hard deciding who will be affected becasue it happens to the less fortunate time and time and time and time again. This is more than being a Special User - I do not know if you mean handicapped or senior citizen and such. But the everyday worker who DEPENDS on MASS TRANSIT to get them to WORK, SCHOOL, GROCERY STORES and other places of Basic Necessities are tired of hearing this crap!

I do not care if they closed down the Yellow and Purple Lines. EXACTLY how much money is being earned in contrast to maintaining, salaries for workers and cleaning crew for these two lines? Are you or anyone stating if they closed them this will not bring more revenue to CTA because of NOT HAVING to maintain these lines and pay salaries to employees? I do not believe that many people are riding these two particular lines in the first place. It is to appease another segment of the population while denying basic service to other areas of the city.

Imagine having the main line (GREEN) you rode as a kid, teenager and adult decimated because of claims of low ridership. CTA was/is still lying about low ridership from the Southeast or Southwest sides of Chicago. HOW THE HELL ELSE WERE THESE PEOPLE GETTING TO WORK? There are those in high places that makes the system works only for a few. As several have stated correctly, NOT ONE CTA/RTA Board member/executive should get away without riding the system at least ten months out of the year! AND NONE OF THEM GET TO SKIP THE WINTER MONTHS!! What the @#$%^#$%$%!!!....They do not trust the system they lord over or something?

Let their A$$#$ stand in the cold waiting 45 minutes or more waiting on a bus and I BET THE SYSTEM WILL BECOME BETTER!

Re-read Lee's post
Posted by: Lee | August 8, 2007 07:00 PM

Lee, I want to agree with you but after terrible service for so many years while those who receive decent service do not understand the frustrated look on a co-worker's face in the morning, I am NOT buying your story! Think about where all of this fancy-high-priced highway and road projects are going on at? I am not buying it Lee! There are too many bureacrats who don't care, but making a 100k and can afford to ignore the masses.

Also, someone is corret in stating there are too many DAMN people standing around laughing and joking when work is to be done. This is why the Mass Transporters are nasty and some of the wait stations looked like a bomb hit it. I do not give a darn how much garbage put down by riders, IT IS YOUR JOB TO CLEAN & PICK IT UP! Mop out the elevators with industrial strenght cleansers instead of regular soap and water! You can tell when a person took a damp mop and drag it acrossed the floor and that was it!

In previous posts people clamoring about the service on the NORTH side, but I bet it is a HELL OF A LOT BETTER than on the SOUTH side!

Just as my parents and teachers told me when growing up, EXCUSES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THIS ARENA! Get the job done and do it properly! Or closed the damn thing down so people can car pool the best they can!

Come on now! Raising CTA fares won't solve anything except making sure ALL the CTA workers who stand around (and I mean stand around) the CTA train stations have a job. What do they do all day long, just watch people put in their CTA cards.....come on! Also, I have seen employees at the train line who are supposed to clean the trains who do nothing but carry around a plastic bag and stand in groups talking and laughing, (which is fine), but do SOME work. If you eliminated jobs like this...you will have more money in your budget.

The Mayor? He is planning to raze Washington Park and turn it into a parking lot.

Where is the mayor on this issue?

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE SOME OF THE NEW REVENUE USED TO GIVE PEOPLE JOBS TO KEEP THE BUSSES IN BETTER SHAPE, INSIDE AND OUT. THE BUSSES AND TRAINS NEED TO BE CLEANER AND ALSO TO TAKE DOWN THE OLD SIGNAGE FOR PAST EVENTS AND REPLACE THEM WITH NEW SIGNS AND ADS. WHOEVER PAID FOR THE ADS I AM SURE PAID PARTIALLY FOR SOMEONE TO PLACE THE ADS ON THE BUSSES AND TRAINS. DOESN'T THAT GIVE THEM THE RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE THEM DOWN AFTER A REASONABLE TIME - LIKE WEEKS- NOT MONTHS AND YEARS LATER. I SAW AN AD ON THE BUS YESTERDAY FOR THE SCHEDULE FOR THE AVON WALK FOR 2006. JUST A BIT LATE FOLKS.

AS A SPECIAL USER I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE FARES NOT AFFECTING US. I KNOW IT IS A HARD JOB DECIDING WHO SHOULD BE AFFECTED. EVERYONE WHO WENT TO THE MEETINGS AND VOICED THEIR OPINIONS SHOULD BE PROUD OF THEMSELVES. OUR VOICES NEED TO BE HEARD. THANK YOU CTA FOR TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THE NEEDS OF THOSE LESS FORTUNATE.

I DO FEEL THAT PEOPLE WHO USE MORE THAN ONE SEAT- LIKE THE WHEELCHAIRS THAT TAKE UP 5 SPACES, AND STROLLERS AND CARTS THAT USE 3 SEATS, SHOULD PAY MORE FARE TO COMPENSATE FOR THE OTHERS THAT HAVE TO STAND INSTEAD OF HAVING THOSE SEATS.

Every day, there's another slow zone, closed station, equipment failure while I see CTA workers hanging around the platforms doing nothing. There is one word to sum up the CTA: INCOMPETENCE. On all levels...from the brass on down. This whole mess is the result of classic Chicago big city politics... the fares have doubled and the service cut just within the past 4 years!
NYC has a system that's twice the size and seems to work just fine. Why?
Because they don't have bloated bureaucrats playing games, raising fares and generally playing games with their riders.
The CTA cares about one thing: the CTA. It is not a service or convenience, it's a necessary evil.

Taking public transportation in Chicago is already an ordeal. For me it's like having root canal and a colonoscopy at the same time...a real PAIN.

The Governor says he is willing to wait several months for a budget that will satisfy him. I find that alarming. I don't believe those who rely on public transportation to get to and from work (or school) can wait that long. And they shouldn't have to. In addition, mass transit appears to have taken a back seat to education and health care(and I agree that they are equally important).

No one likes to pay highter taxes (myself included). But if it means that the CTA and PACE will keep on rolling, I'm all for it

Please spare me the games and the lies. Money to fund CTA is there, all of this is a shell game. We have blue collar welfare in the billions with the roads, why were the license fees raised? Why are we paying increasing hotel taxes? If you look at any of your bills, there are hidden fees and taxes. It is done to confuse you in times like this. The money is there. Did you know that the CTA has more lawyers than most law firms? They each make over 100k a year, how many managers there are making six figures? The pensions promised years ago are bloated, but none of that is cut. Does any executive who works for the CTA actually take it to work? The passes should then be immediately revoked and passed on to students and seniors. How much money is lost on the cards that expire? Where does that go? We could do this cat and mouse game for years. Mayor, Governor, they are all liars and yet you wonder why there is voter apathy.

I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY CTA FINDS IT NECESSARY TO GO UP ON FARES. IF THAT'S NOT ENOUGH THEY WANT TO THREATEN THE STATE WITH HIGHER FARES IF THE STATE DOESN'T BAIL THEM OUT. WHO'S GOING TO BAIL OUT LOW INCOME RIDERS WHO HAVE TO QUIT JOBS IN THE SUBURBS BECAUSE CTA AND PACE STOP CERTAIN RIDES TO & FROM THE SUBURBS. WHO IS GOING TO BAIL OUR LOW INCOME RIDERS OR ANY RIDER WHO ARE ON A BUDGET? CTA NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO BUDGET IT'S MONEY AND STOP PUTTING THEIR PROBLEMS ON THE STATE. I'VE BEEN A RIDER FOR OVER 31 YEARS AND IT'S GETTING WORSE AND WORSE. I JUST HOPE THAT CTA FIXE THEIR OWN PROBLEM AND STOP MAKING THE RIDERS PAY FOR THEIR MISTAKES. EVELYN,

No it is not just the state that has failed, so don't act like it is. The CTA is not a good enough alternative to driving and parking downtown, the service sucks and is horribly unreliable, not to mention unsafe. I mean they have not even made a dent in bus bunching, and none of the big wigs have to suffer that asinine service from the CTA

The CTA sucks and so does the state and the city with all that TIF crap. If it were to me, I would raise the gas tax so high, people would be driving to Alaska to buy gas. And I would slap the unions silly, if someone can not get to work and drive their busses on schedule, they would be working for Alltown school busses, if you can not do your job, you are fired. And the supevisor - fired. The managers - fired. Figure out a way to run on schedule or your ass is out.

And for all those board members, either you use public transportation every day, or you are fired. No parking lots, everybody working for the CTA is riding the bus to work and do not think they do not know because the fare cards will tell on you all the time. If you can not ride the bus and the trains to work then you need to be working somewhere else.

You can forget about it. I'll take a cab from now on. Jerks.

Kira -- it's the state that's failed us on transit funding, not the CTA. when your local school doesn't have enough money to pay for supplies, do you blame the principle? no, you blame the state for mismanaging tax dollars that are supposed to fund our school system. i'm tired of people complaining about the CTA as if it were some independent corporation. the mayor and gov. want you to think that so they don't have to take any of the blame when our buses break down and there isn't enough money to keep the system running. the CTA has been doing pretty decent considering how underfunded it's been. just like our state's roads and highways, it does cost money to maintain our transit system -- it's just that when it comes to us urban residents, the state isn't willing to cough up any money. they'd rather spend it on overpriced suburban highway projects.

now start complaining to the right people! call the governor and call your state senator and state rep. and tell them we deserve better! and if they don't give us better, please don't vote for them again.

there's a simple tool for contacting your elected officials at http://www.savechicagolandtransit.com

CTA raising the fare and cutting routes is outrageous! Service is already horrible in some areas (i.e the Southside)but now we're expected to pay even more for it. Why don't they cut the salaries of some of the CTA CEO's and pass those savings on to the consumers.

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This page contains a single entry by Monifa Thomas published on August 8, 2007 12:46 PM.

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