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CTA Announces 2009 Budget, Fare Hikes On The Way

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Oct 9, 2008 7:45PM

Well, this is some great news. The CTA announced its 2009 budget today and it seems those fare hikes we've been waiting will finally come to pass. The Ron said of the increase, “While this fare increase is difficult, we simply felt we had no choice.’’ And then he probably muttered, "Fucking Blagojevich," under his breath. So how will the fare increase affect riders?

  • Regular transit card fares would increase by 25 cents ($2 buses, $2.25 trains).
  • Cash fares on buses would increase to $2.25.
  • Train fare for Chicago Card customers would increase by 50 cents, from $1.75 to $2.25.
  • Bus fare for Chicago Card customers would increase by 25 cents, from $1.75 to $2.
  • Transfers would still cost 25 cents, including two additional rides within two hours of the first boarding.
  • 30-day passes (unlimited rides on buses and trains) would increase by $15, from $75 to $90.

Rubbing salt in the wound of Chicago Card customers, the 10 percent bonus for adding $20 to your card will also be eliminated. According to CTA research, Chicago Card customers "live in more affluent ZIP codes than riders who pay cash fares or use regular transit cards." The Rob defended this research, saying, "Our Chicago Card customers are more elastic in their ability to absorb fare increases." U-Passes for college students would also increase 20 percent in price and your family will pay more next time they visit with the 1-, 3-, and 7-day visitor passes while the 2- and 5-day passes will be discontinued.

If you want to voice your opinion on the new budget (as we're sure many, many of you will), there will be a public hearing held on Wednesday, October 29, at 6:00 p.m. at CTA HQ (567 W. Lake Street - just off the Clinton Green/Pink Line stop).

Oh, and G-Rod's "free rides" program he just had to tack on last year in the face of the CTA Doomsday? It'll cost the CTA $36 million in 2009.