The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) proposed a balanced $1.475 billion operating budget that — for the fifth year in a row — holds the line on base fares and maintains or improves service, while continuing historic investment to modernize the CTA and improve the customer experience.
The 2016 budget introduces, builds on and accelerates several new initiatives, service improvements, and technology upgrades to benefit riders and improve the customer experience.
Additionally, the agency in 2016 will continue with the more than $5 billion in system-improvement projects completed, begun or announced by Mayor Emanuel since 2011, including rehabilitating rail stations and building new ones, modernizing rail and bus fleets, adding new technologies to improve the commuting experience, and bringing the agency’s massive infrastructure into a state of good repair to improve reliability and safety. For a fifth straight year, the CTA will not transfer capital funds to cover operating costs.
“Over the last four years, Mayor Emanuel’s investment in Chicago transit has provided CTA customers with improved, more reliable and affordable transit service, and I am committed to continuing that work,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Equally important with keeping up with meeting the needs of our customers is to continually find ways to do so more efficiently and cost-effectively. I look forward to continuing the many improvements the CTA has made thus far, and exploring new and even better ways to provide vital transit services to our customers.”
CTA customers in 2016 can look forward to many new and enhanced services:
- The new Ventra app, launching in 2015, that will seamlessly integrate fare payment across CTA, Metra and Pace.
- 4G wireless through CTA’s 22 miles of subway tunnels.
- Return of express bus service to Western and Ashland, two of three of CTA’s busiest bus routes.
- Launch of Loop Link, better connecting 30,000 bus customers to the Loop each weekday with faster, more efficient service.
- Continuing to pursue next-generation rail cars, the 7000-series, to provide a more modern, reliable rail fleet as rail ridership grows.
- Overhauling or replacing nearly CTA’s entire fleet of buses.
- Continuing to grow advertising revenue to offset operating costs and keep fares affordable for customers.