Agency making more than $20 million in cost reductions, $3 million in increased revenue as it works to balance budget
As it finalizes its proposed 2018 budget, the Chicago Transit Authority is making more than $20 million in budget cuts and generating $3 million in increased ad and concession revenue to help maintain service levels in the coming year.
Among the cost savings CTA has identified for 2018 is the elimination of 45 vacant non-customer-facing positions, as well as a freeze on hiring for an additional 70 positions. Combined, this will result in a savings of $12.5 million in labor costs for 2018.
Additionally, CTA will achieve $4.7 million in fuel and power savings in 2018 by locking in contractual prices for those commodities, necessary to power buses and trains and other aspects of CTA operations. Also, CTA will save an estimated $3 million by holding the line on contractual expenses.
The CTA also expects to see an additional $3 million in increase advertising and concession revenue.
“Identifying ways to cut costs is my top priority in this budget process,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We are doing everything we can internally to find savings to help with our 2018 budget.”
Carter emphasized that service cuts will not be proposed in the 2018 budget. “We have a responsibility to our customers and to taxpayers—even in a tough economic climate—to maintain the level of service our customers have come to rely on, and that neighborhoods continue to depend on to get to work, school and more.”
Since 2011, the CTA has looked internally to find about $300 million in cost savings, operational efficiencies and new revenues. More than $100 million in savings has been achieved since 2015 under Carter, including the elimination of 100 management positions in 2016 and about $17 million in fuel and power savings, among other expense reductions.
The proposed 2018 budget will preserve the robust bus and rail service that customers receive today, including expanded bus and rail service put into place in the last few years.
In 2017, CTA expanded six bus routes that serve Chicago’s South and Far South Sides. It also implemented or continued several bus service pilots and on the North and South Sides to test demand for expanded service.
CTA also last year added service to four of our eight rail lines, including the Red, Blue, Green and Purple Lines. All of the new service was implemented to benefit customers traveling during AM and PM rush, with trains operating more frequently during our peak hours.
CTA is expected to announce its proposed 2018 budget later this week.