CTA fare hike plan: Chicago's transit death spiral continues
The work week kicked off with a new transit outrage in Chicago: big proposed CTA fare hikes coupled with dramatic service reductions to fill the latest gaping budget hole. Public transit is such a ridiculously low priority in this city that our disastrous 2016 Olympic bid didn't even include a significant overhaul. Where is the leadership at the RTA, which sometimes seems willing to throw CTA under the bus? Where is the state legislative leadership in not creating an adequate safety net during the downturn? Where is the leadership on the federal level with an urban-minded President and a Secretary of Transportation from Illinois who both presumably understand how beneficial investments in top-flight transit systems are to supporting employers while reducing automotive pollution and congestion? Talk about green stimulus! Instead, we get yet another doomsday scenario that will most harm low-income workers--and, indeed, the companies that employ them. It's time for everyone from the city to the RTA to state and federal officials to make a core commitment to investing in efficient, affordable public transit. In the long haul, it generates economic and environmental benefits far beyond whatever revenue it generates at the turnstile. Who's with me?