Service Reductions, Furlough Days, Elimination of 1,100 Jobs Planned for 2010
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) approved the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) $1.27 billion budget for 2010. The budget includes management efficiencies, elimination of more than 1,000 jobs and service reductions. In total, the CTA’s 2010 operating budget is nearly $1 million lower than the projected 2009 operating budget.
In November, a funding agreement brokered by Governor Quinn’s office helped CTA to avoid a fare increase proposed for 2010, and any potential fare increase for 2011. However, service reductions remain part of the cost savings plan for next year.
Service reductions are planned to go into effect on February 7, 2010. Nine express bus routes that have corresponding local service will be eliminated, 41 bus routes will either start service later or end earlier, or both, and frequency of service during off-peak hours will also be implemented to reduce costs. Less service requires fewer operating employees and as a result more than 1,000 employees will be laid off.
“We have been and will continue to evaluate and pursue all opportunities to reduce operating expenses in order to keep our transit service as intact as possible,” said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. “None of the decisions have been easy and although we have been able to spare riders a fare increase, the service reductions will impact both riders and CTA employees.”
CTA sent more than 1,000 lay-off notices to employees this month.
The CTA is continuing discussions with its labor unions on ways to reduce costs and save jobs. As a result of union contracts, CTA’s budget for union salaries has increased $24 million. Nearly 90% of CTA’s workforce is unionized.
# # #