Call Your State Senator and Representative, Damnit!
By Jocelyn Geboy in Miscellaneous on Aug 8, 2007 9:52PM
Hear us now, believe us later, but if you don't want to end up with a crappy solution to a shitty problem, it might be a great time to contact your State Representatives and Senators and to tell them that you really, really do want to ride the CTA in the "ehh" manner you're used to, rather than the CTA-lite version that the CTA board just passed if they don't get more funds. Tony Coppoletta of savechicagolandtransit.com gave us the heads up, and we turned to the Sun-Times for more information.
For cryin' out loud. We haven't been CTA watching too much this summer, but here it goes again. Except this time, it's with a little more specificity. Kind of like when your mom threatens to "pull this car over," and you know she's totally bluffing, but you hit your sister one more time and all of a sudden the car starts veering toward the shoulder, and you start acting right real quick. The fact of the matter is, someone needs to start acting right real quick, or we're all going to get spanked.
Here are the proposed fare changes, confusing as they may be:
- Bus fares will rise to $2.00 (using Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus or Transit Card) or $2.50 (using cash).
- Rail fares will rise to $2.00 (using Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus) or $2.50 off-peak and $3.00 peak (using Transit Cards or cash). Peak periods will be 6:30-9:30 a.m. and 4:00-7:00 p.m.
- Transfers will remain the same, at 25 cents. Transfers are available only to customers paying fares with Transit Cards or Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus.
- Prices for unlimited ride passes will increase 11-20%, with the 1-Day Pass increasing from $5 to $6, the 7-Day Pass going from $20 to $23, and the 30-Day Pass increasing from $75 to $84.
- Fares for reduced-fare customers, who include seniors and persons with disabilities, will not change.
In an amazing show of hospitality, the $5 fee for Chicago Cards and Chicago Card Plus will be waived for September and October. And in a wonderful "how do we ever make this work" situation, the CTA anticipates losing about 100,000 riders per day as a result of the fare increases and service cuts.
The doomsday proposal initially offered up big rate increases and lots and lots of bus cuts, with even a threat to cut the Purple Line. We sort of imagined that there was no way that the North Shore and Evanston were going to get the shaft, and we were right. The new proposal leaves the Yellow and Purple Lines (aren't those complementary colors?) alone. Why? The Sun-Times says that officials said, "The plan was changed in response to complaints from riders during a series of public meetings earlier this year." Reaaaaalllly. And what about all the other things that were said?
The Times article goes on to say, "The CTA says it will save $20 million through administrative cuts." Meanwhile, straight from the CTA press release, we see the CTA's take on the layoffs: "Due to the service reductions, the CTA intends to layoff a commensurate number of employees. Plans call for layoffs of nearly 700 employees, including bus operators, bus servicers, mechanics and Transportation Managers. In earlier cost cutting efforts, 75 administrative jobs were eliminated." Those are administrative jobs? We think an administrative job consists of sitting on your ass and trying to make yourself work rather than playing on the internet all day (and we should know, we've had plenty).
Right. Because your system runs so well right now, that you should cut out mechanics (!?!), bus operators, bus servicers (are these cleaners? — not sure what the difference would be between a servicer and a mechanic) and Transportation Managers. For fuck's sake, how about a bullshit executive? Who most likely makes three times as much as any bus operator? (We couldn't find the salaries listed anywhere, most likely because they aren't a public entity. Not like the Cook County salaries you can find online. But here is a list of recent job openings with the CTA.)
The new fares go into effect Sept. 16, CTA officials said. Hmmm. This is supposed to be a contingency plan, but it sounds like they aren't really being very contingent with it. Oh, and here is the list of bus cuts currently proposed (in PDF format) with the old list provided as well (the ones they're leaving). Oh, hang on. Let us get salt shakers for everyone on the board, so they can put it in our wounds.
Well, people, that's it. Discuss.
"and god damn the cta sometimes, too!" by smussyolay.