October 28, 1999

A public hearing on the Chicago Transit Authority's year 2000 Budget will be held Thursday, November 4, at 6 p.m. in the Adams Room on the 6th floor of the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 East Monroe. The hearing will provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the Budget, which was presented to the CTA Board on October 18, and outlines the CTA's proposed expenditures for the coming year.

Copies of the Budget are available for public review on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the front desk of the CTA's General Office on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart, at Wells and Kinzie Streets. Copies are also available at the main office of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Suite 1900, 181 West Madison, and at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 South State.

Written comments will be accepted through Tuesday, November 9. Correspondence should be addressed to Gregory Longhini, Assistant Secretary of the Board, Chicago Transit Authority, P.O. Box 3555, Chicago, IL 60654-0555.

The CTA estimates an operating budget of $841 million for the year 2000. Thanks to funding from Governor Ryan's Illinois first program and the federal transportation bill, the CTA expects to fund $409 million in capital improvements, which is almost double the amount budgeted in 1999.

Among the improvements included in the five-year capital plan is funding for the purchase of new buses and retrofitting older models with air-conditioning; the continued rehabilitation of older 'L' cars and the purchase of 142 new cars; 1,000 new bus shelters; track and structure work to eliminate most slow zones; major improvements for 20 'L' stations, and upgrades for others. Also included is funding for continued design and engineering work for renovation of the Cermak (Douglas) branch of the Blue Line and expansion of capacity on the Brown Line.

For the public hearing, the State Street, Monroe Street and Wabash Avenue entrances to the Palmer House Hilton Hotel are all accessible to persons with disabilities. Elevators between the State and Wabash entrances provide service to the 6th floor, near the meeting room where the hearing will be held.

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