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CTA Says It Won’t Raise Fares, Cut Service In 2020 As Upgrades To Train And Bus Lines Continue

The CTA's president said the "budget is a balanced and responsible spending plan."

The No. 66 Chicago Avenue bus.
Alisa Hauser/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The CTA won’t raise its fares or cut service to pay for improvements in 2020, according to its proposed budgets.

The CTA proposed a $1.57 billion operating budget and $5.1 billion five-year capital budget on Thursday. The agency said the budgets don’t require fares being raised or service being reduced, and they will allow for new projects and continued improvements among bus and “L” routes.

“This budget is a balanced and responsible spending plan that reflects our commitment to keeping Chicago public transit affordable for communities across Chicago, while also making CTA travel as fast, smooth and safe as possible,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. in a news release.

The CTA will invest $310 million in extending the Red Line south by 5.3 miles and building four stations as part of the Red Line Extension project. The agency hopes that investment will enable the project to get to a place where it is likely to receive federal funding.

Credit: CTA
Conceptual rendering showing the new Red-Purple Bypass and potential redevelopment concepts (looking south on Clark St.) from Newport Ave.)

The agency’s proposed budgets will also allow it to buy 20 electric buses, receive 10 prototypes of the new 7000-series “L” car and improve signals along the Blue Line. It will also be able to start phase one of the Red and Purple Modernization Program, which will require rebuilding four stations, track and signal systems.

And the CTA is receiving $1.2 billion in funding over the next five years from the state. Of that funding, $60 million will go to the overhaul of the Cottage Grove Green Line station, $50 million will go to traction power improvements on the Blue Line O’Hare branch and $31.5 million will go to station upgrades on the Blue Line O’Hare branch.

The agency will host a public hearing on its budgets at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake St., in the second-floor conference room. The deadline to submit written comments on the budget is noon Nov. 20 and comments can be sent to Gregory Longhini at CTA headquarters.