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Voice your opinion on CTA cuts

Ctabucks_1 The CTA actually wants to hear from its riders about what we think about the upcoming service cuts and/or fare increases if the state legislature doesn't pony up any cash.

Ummm, how about none of the above?

Hmmm, not a choice eh? Then go to the hearing at 4 p.m. April 7 at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake St. Or email the CTA with your concerns by April 8.


Why in the world is this meeting scheduled at 4pm on a Thursday? Why not 6pm so 9-5 types can come voice their opinions in person?

Anyhoo, I gave them an earful a week ago via email but I'm convinced that any email with "feedback", "customer" or "fiscal and operational intelligence" goes straight into some bureaucratic bulk folder. :/

I picked up on the 4PM on a workday for most people also. They're really concerned what we think.

So this hearing will be at the brand new lush CTA headquarters building that cost $119 million, or about twice the amount of their current yearly budget deficit?

I think Kreusi should be in jail.

So, they're talking about charging $3.40 per ride during rush hour, right? Figuring 20 work days per monthm that's close to $130/month. What do some of the lots just outside the loop charge for a month? Takes me 20 minutes max to get down there, rather than the 50-60 minutes by train. Would be well worth it to pay more and drive.

This comes from the CTA website at


It is a press release that gives an overview of what is going to be covered at the public hearing and how to make comments that will make it into the public record for consitderation by the Chicago Transit Board.

This is the most relavent text insofar as public comments are concerned:

Written comments may be submitted through April 8, 2005 by writing to the following address:

Chicago Transit Authority
P.O. Box 7567
Chicago, IL 60680
Attention: Gregory Longhini
Assistant Secretary
Chicago Transit Board

E-mail comments may be submitted through April 8, 2005 by writing to ctaboard@transitchicago.com.

You DO NOT have to be at the board Hearing to Make A substantive Comment that will be reviewed seriously by the board. In fact, a written comment has the advantage of having no length limit, but I would think that short to the point comments will be read with much more attention than long rambling diatribes.

Past fares hearings and other public meetings have shown that 1) the CTA board does listen and respond to public comment (as in the comments from the North/South Lakeshore Bus meetings) and that 2) New policies can emerge from them. Also, people outside CTA are watching too, your comments can be forwarded to state legislators from your district if you give your address to add weight for the argument that CTA needs more help from the state to keep fares low and more service.

"Further information on planned service reductions or fare increases can be found on www.keepchicagolandmoving.com or www.transitchicago.com or by contacting the the Office of the Secretary, Chicago Transit Authority, P.O. Box 7567, Chicago, Illinois 60680 Attention: Gregory Longhini, Assistant Secretary, Chicago Transit Board."

The most brutal possible service cuts possible are grim indeed. If you haven't yet go to one of the websites and look at the plan. I am writing this because I will have a much longer walk to the bus or more transfers because of the service cuts, ie., route eliminaions that are likely, in fact one of my neighbors sold his house and moved closer to a girl's high school he liked because he was convinced the connecting bus route would be gone by the time she would be going there.

Be clear, what is most important to you? Service or fares and by how much. IF you had to pick which scenario does you the least harm? Are they all disasters? Why? Be detailed. Be specific. This is not the time to rage at CTA mismanagement. Tell why these changes would be a bad thing for you personally and what you want they fare service options to be and how you think they should be paid for. More equitable taxes? Auto gas taxes? That Business Software tax they were floating? Is income a problem? Do you use CTA to get to work, Visit Family, Why is CTA important to you?

THese kinds of things will help make a good case for what you want to say. Just tell your story and get it in by the deadline so it can be considered. And tell your friends to do it to.

IF there is something else that CTA needs to be doing you can add it, but keep the focus on service and fares or CTA may not be able to do much more.

What will happen to us if the price of gas keeps going up. What if it hits $2.50, $2.75, shudder, $3.00 gasp. Do we really want to have pared down CTA, pace and Metra then? These are not impossible scenarios. All it takes is one crazy mid-east nation with nuclear weapons to do tremendous damage to the world fuel economy in the mid east and we would have rationing here.

Food for thought.

I hope these thoughts are helpful. IF enough people are cheesed off at the low number of public hearings and call 888-your-CTA to complain about it they May schedule other meetings, but they may only be required by law to hold one. Fuzzy on that.



I meant my friend's daughter would have no way to get to High school with no Route 103.

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