Public Hearing Scheduled for October 27 on 2006 Budget Proposal

October 25, 2005

Public Hearing Scheduled for October 27 on 2006 Budget Proposal

CTA customers and the general public will have the opportunity to provide comments to the Chicago Transit Board on the President's 2006 Budget Recommendations at a public hearing scheduled for Thursday, October 27 at 4 p.m., CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake Street. Board members will hear comments on the proposed budget for 2006 which was released for review on October 6.

The 2006 budget recommendations include an operating budget of $1.037 billion ? an increase of $40.6 million, or 4.1 percent, higher than 2005 ? that include a public funding level of $524 million. The higher costs of fuel, healthcare, claims and litigated expenses have all contributed to the need for an increased operating budget over 2005.

The recommendation includes a proposal to maintain existing service levels and to increase cash fares and rail fares paid with magnetic strip transit cards by 25 cents to offset the high price of fuel which is demanding an increasingly larger portion of CTA's operating budget. In addition, those who pay cash would no longer be able to purchase transfers.

The fare proposal is identical to the one proposed, but not implemented, for 2005. Fares would not increase for customers who use either of the Chicago Card options and transfers would still be available to them for an additional 25 cents. Fares would also remain the same for all unlimited ride passes, such as the 7-day or 30-day passes. The proposal also includes a recommendation to waive the $5 purchase fee for Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus from December 1, 2005, through the first quarter of 2006 as an additional incentive for customers to switch from cash.

The 2006 budget proposal includes a capital improvement program of $1.8 billion over the next five years.

Written comments may be submitted through November 4, 2005, by writing to the following address: Chicago Transit Authority, P.O. Box 7567, Chicago, IL 60680-7567, Attention: Gregory Longhini, Assistant Secretary.

E-mail comments may be submitted through November 4, 2005, by writing to CTABoard@transitchicago.com.

The proposed budget is available for public review at the CTA's General Office at the 567 W. Lake Street, 2nd floor, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Regular and large print copies are available at this location. Audio copies are also available by request.

Copies are available at the main office of the Regional Transportation Authority located at 175 W. Jackson, 15th floor, Chicago. A copy of the proposed budget is also posted on the CTA's web site at www.transitchicago.com. A list of libraries and additional locations where the document is available is attached.

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Copies of the budget proposal are available at the reference desks of the following libraries:

Chicago Public Library - 3 Regional Locations

Harold Washington Public Library400 S. State Street, 10th FloorChicago, IL 60605

Sulzer Regional Library4455 N. Lincoln Ave.Chicago, IL 60625

Woodson Regional Library9525 S. HalstedChicago, IL 60628

Suburban Libraries

Evanston Public Library1703 Orrington Ave.Evanston, IL 60201

Evergreen Park Public Library9400 S. TroyEvergreen Park, IL 60805

Oak Park Public Library834 Lake St.Oak Park, IL 60301

Riverdale Public Library208 W. 144th St.Riverdale, IL 60827

Skokie Public Library5215 W. OaktonSkokie, IL 60077

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