The CTA is facing an impending budget shortfall that will require drastic cuts in service and a fare increase on September 16th. I am writing to ask you to contact the Governor and our state legislators to urge them to enact needed legislation to address the CTA’s funding crisis.
As you know, I was highly critical of CTA management under the leadership of former CTA President Frank Kruesi. While more reforms are needed, the CTA’s new president, Ron Huberman has taken a number of important steps to get the CTA’s fiscal house in order, including $38 million in administrative cuts and securing agreements from labor unions to secure pension and health care reforms.
However, management reforms alone cannot eliminate the size of the current CTA budget deficit, which continues to grow because of a lack of critical state funding. One of our state legislators, State Rep. Julie Hamos, has spearheaded legislation that would put the CTA and other transit agencies on sound financial footing for years to come. Our other two state legislators, Harry Osterman and Lou Lang supported her bill, but unfortunately the bill failed to pass the Illinois House of Representatives.
If the Governor and General Assembly do not address the funding crisis this week, the CTA has announced it will increase fares anywhere from $.50 to $1.00 on both bus and rail lines and eliminate 39 bus routes, including the 96 Lunt bus. These cuts will pose a tremendous hardship on transit riders throughout the Chicago area, including the 49th Ward where so many residents rely on public transit to get to their jobs and schools.
I will do everything in my power to minimize the effects of those cuts on our ward. But you can play a role, too. Please take the time to contact the Governor and our state legislators to tell them how important public transit is to you.
Here is the contact information for the Governor and our ward’s state legislators:
Governor Rod Blagojevich
Carol Ronen (7th District)
Ira Silverstein (8th District)
Jeff Shoenberg (9th District)
Harry Osterman (14th District)
Lou Lang (16th District)
Julie Hamos (18th District)
Thanks again for your help.
Alderman Joe Moore