The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) $1.8 billion operating budget that keeps fares at current levels, maintains the agency’s commitment to improving service, and continues important investments to upgrade and modernize the system — was approved by the Chicago Transit board.
The approved spending plan advances the CTA’s “Meeting the Moment: Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future” Action Plan, a multifaceted investment plan that focuses on responding to customers’ concerns and strengthening the foundations of the rider experience — more consistent and reliable service, safe rides, clean facilities, modern amenities, dynamic customer engagement tools, and a strong CTA workforce.
“This year, the CTA celebrated its 75th Anniversary. This budget allows the CTA to make investments to strengthen our system for the next 75 years,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “In the year ahead, we are committed to maximizing every dollar of our budget to both modernize our system and continue work on the strategic initiatives outlined in support of the guiding pillars of ‘Meeting the Moment’ Action Plan, which addresses the most pressing challenges facing our customers and employees.”
As the CTA continue its aggressive recruitment and hiring efforts to address an industry-wide shortage of transit workers, the budget includes 40 new positions focused on cleaning trains and stations — continuing the agency’s strong focus on providing a comfortable environment for customers.
The CTA also remains focused on modernization and improvement of its physical infrastructure — tracks, rail stations, buses and trains, facilities, and technologies. The CTA’s 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Program — which is separate from the agency’s operating budget — calls for $3.4 billion in projects over the next five years. Among many important investments is the Red Line Extension, which will extend the CTA’s busiest rail line to the southern City limits and will provide greatly improved transit access and connectivity to the Far South Side of Chicago.
Other capital projects to continue or begin in 2023 include:
- All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP), to make CTA’s rail system 100% vertically accessible.
- Expansion of electric bus fleet, part of CTA’s commitment to complete the electrification of the entire bus fleet by the year 2040.
- Refresh & Renew, an expanded and accelerated rail station improvement program.
- Better Streets for Buses, a comprehensive, citywide plan for bus-priority streets.