The Chicago Transit Authority this week has disheartening news for Chicago-area commuters in light of Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed plan to cut $170 million from mass transit by 2016. The CTA provides 81% of transit rides in the metropolitan area, according to the Regional Transportation Authority, and ratification of the governor’s plan would likely cause service cuts on buses and trains, fare increases, layoffs and commuters returning to their cars en mass as early as this summer, which will only exacerbate what was recently determined to be the sixth worst commute in all of the U.S.
The CTA would face a 45% decrease in state funding, equivalent to a loss of $130.1 million. The projected cut equals 9% of the CTA's operating budget, officials said.
“Gov. Rauner's proposed cuts threaten the CTA’s four years of impressive, hard-fought gains. Now is not the time to try and reverse those gains with shortsighted state cuts,'” said CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase.
During the term of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been a supporter of mass transit, the CTA has wiped out a $308 million deficit and begun a $5 billion modernization plan.
“Right now, our main priority is to work with the governor and the legislature on the importance of preserving transit funding for the nearly 1.7 million rides the CTA provides each weekday,’ Chase said.