CHICAGO – The CTA is proposing to increase fare prices by 25 cents for all bus and train rides, but no service cuts, under their 2018 budget plan.
The transit agency said declining ridership and a shortfall of funds from the state have forced it to raise fares for the first time since 2009. The CTA is faced with a more than $33 million budget hole.
The cost of a bus ride would increase to $2.25 and a train ride would increase to $2.50. The proposal would bump the cost of a monthly pass to $105. A 30-day Ventra card would cost $5 more.
"We don’t want to do this, but the state cuts have left us with no other options," Dorval Carter, CTA president, said.
Officials said CTA is also cutting costs by eliminating 45 vacant jobs positions that do not directly deal with customers. CTA is also freezing hiring for 70 other posts.
If approved the price increases will takes effect January 7, 2018.
Metra and Pace have already approved fare hikes for 2018.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2018 budget sends about $16 million to CTA for upgrades and security. The money is coming from a hike on Uber and Lyft.
The mayor proudly holds up Chicago’s mass transit.
"You read about what’s going on in New York where we’re now hearing a story that the MTA is so bad that it’s strangling their economy. That’s not true in Chicago. And we’re going to continue to make what I think are important investments," he said.
In July, Emanuel penned an op-ed in the New York Times bragging that Chicago’s buses and trains run on time. but he didn’t stop there. The mayor threw an elbow at New York and Washington D.C.
He talked about “an epidemic” of delays in the Big Apple and pointed to the Washington Metra handing out free coffee coupons to riders caught in delays.
The New York Daily News hit back hard. The paper's headline read, "Dumb Track Mind, Murder Capitol Mayor Hits Subway.”
The paper noted that even though New York has three times Chicago’s population, it has fewer than half as many homicides.