Friday, September 14, 2007

RTA accepts

Hat-tip to the Capitol Fax Blog. Almost as if they need a hat tip since they're the blog to go to for politics and public affairs in Illinois. This story is from the Sun-Times...

Drastic CTA service cuts and fare increases will be put on hold until November, now that the Regional Transportation Authority this morning approved Gov. Blagojevich’s offer to advance $24 million in state transit subsidies for the CTA.

The CTA planned to cut 39 bus routes and raise fares by as much as $1 on Sunday, after months of talks in Springfield failed to produce a funding package for mass transit.

Those negotiations are still ongoing, but Blagojevich’s offer gives lawmakers until Nov. 4 to strike a deal.

The RTA board voted 10 to 2 to accept the offer, which also includes money for Metra and Pace.

But officials made it clear that they expect a long-term funding solution that would keep the CTA, Metra and Pace from having to beg Springfield for additional funding every year.

There hasn’t been a state capital plan for mass transit since 2004.

RTA chief Jim Reilly said that the bailout plan approved today is “not only not a long-term solution, it’s not even a good short-term solution. But at the end of the day, we have to remember that we’re dealing with people’s lives.”

Well there won't be any service cuts and fare hikes this month or next month, but this still assumes that the legislature can come to an agreement on a more long term solution. Unfortunately I'm not sure if I'll hold my breath. The situation has been a mess in Springfield especially in light of the whole budget struggle.

Imagine the comments about this on the Capitol Fax Blog. Comments that will say that they don't trust the governor or the mismanagement of the CTA. You might need to watch the comments from the Capitol Fax post.

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