Last week, Mr. Huberman laid out his recommendation to raise peak fares to $3.25 a trip and cut service on 63 bus lines in the first week of September if legislators in Springfield don’t come through with the money. The recommendation also includes deferring $57 million in capital spending, which would primarily cover maintenance on the agency’s aging bus and rail fleets.
“It is the most responsible way we could work the numbers” while minimizing impact on riders, he said.
Tuesday at a CTA board meeting, Mr. Huberman detailed other scenarios the CTA considered before making that recommendation. One 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.
Mr. Huberman said he and CTA Chairman Carole Brown were leaving after the meeting for Springfield to continue lobbying lawmakers. Asked to name legislators advocating for the CTA, Ms. Brown sidestepped the question.
Mr. Huberman said during the meeting that his announcement last week of the CTA’s contingency plan was not a ploy to pressure the General Assembly into loosening its purse strings.
“Let me be very clear: This is not the case,” he said.
The CTA will hold a series of public meetings on Mr. Huberman’s proposal beginning June 5. The agency’s board is expected to vote on it June 13.
You know if that last option is the most likely then the people at What the Helen?! probably has the right idea.