The CTA Board Wednesday approved a 20 percent raise in the subsidy it provides to paratransit-eligible customers who use taxis so they won?t be adversely impacted by recent taxi fare hikes. The Board action increases the subsidy from $10 to $12, enabling customers to travel the same distance at virtually no extra cost under CTA's Taxi Access Program (TAP).
?We didn?t want our TAP customers to have the value of their service diminished by the taxi fare increases," said CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett, 'so we provided additional funding for the program in our 2001 budget. This will allow our customers to continue using the program without paying any more for their vouchers."
Under an ordinance approved by the CTA Board in 1991, CTA customers who are certified as eligible for paratransit services by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) have been able to pay all or a portion of their taxi trips from anywhere within the City of Chicago with vouchers issued by the CTA.
Currently, paratransit customers pay $1.50, or the equivalent of a regular CTA fare, for TAP vouchers valued at $10, and they can purchase up to 30 vouchers a week. Any metered rate exceeding $10 is paid by the customer. Vouchers will continue to cost $1.50, but they will now have $12 in value, and extra charges won?t begin until the meter reading exceeds $12.
?TAP provides much greater flexibility for our paratransit customers than Special Services," said CTA President Frank Kruesi, "and the CTA's average cost for each trip is about half of what the other service requires. New regulations that accompanied the fare increase will expand the number of taxis participating in the program to more than 6,500, which means almost every taxi in the city."
Customers who don?t need an accessible taxi can call any cab company of their choice. For an accessible taxi, they can call toll-free to 1-866-458-2287.
Through October 31, about 101,770 rides have been provided under the TAP program this year, or just over 10,100 a month. To meet anticipated trip increases that will result from the mandated participation of virtually all Chicago taxis, the CTA has raised its budget for TAP by almost 48 percent to $1,863,880 in 2001. The CTA's cost per ride for TAP in 2000 has been about $11.70. The CTA's cost for Special Services averages about $24.12 per ride.###