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No Games Chicago Update
63 Days To Decision
Daily News

July 30, 2009
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The People Speak

Chicago needs to focus on more important items; such as better schools and streets!

Vanessa Ruiz

Signer of No Games
online petition

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"Countdown To Agony" (CTA) refers to the regular announcements of drastic service cuts throughout Chicago's mass transit system.
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Open letter to the IOC:
"Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"

Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:  

Today we'd like to let you know about our mass transit system, called the CTA, which stands for the Chicago Transit Authority. These are the trains and buses we ride here every day. Since no new rail line or new mode of service is being proposed for the 2016 games, this is what your athletes, officials and visitors will rely on to get around if the games come here. And, like everything else here, this service is under funded, badly in need of repairs and constantly facing cuts in service.

CTA finds budget trims to avoid service cuts
By Jon Hilkevitch
- Chicago Tribune 
July 16, 2009

The Chicago Transit Authority came up with about $35 million in cost savings Wednesday to erase its latest budget deficit despite recent claims there was nothing left to cut except bus and train service.

The newest round of belt-tightening, the result of reductions in non-union labor expenses and other cost-containment measures, bodes well for CTA customers trying to ride out the recession.

Possible service cuts threatened for as early as the fall are now off the table for the rest of the year unless the weak economy gets worse and transit ridership numbers and public-subsidy dollars tank too, officials indicated.

But service cuts and fare increases cannot be ruled out in 2010, CTA President Richard Rodriguez said.

Only last month, Rodriguez warned that the CTA had cut administrative and other expenses to the bone. Severe service cuts were unavoidable in the face of a $155 million decrease in public subsidies from the Regional Transportation Authority, he said. The latest budget cut Wednesday was due to declining tax collections caused by the recession.

The transit agency's board on Wednesday voted to reduce spending in this year's operating budget by $35.2 million. Some of the savings will be realized by reducing overtime pay and non-essential travel. Salary increases will be deferred for the CTA's approximately 1,000 non-union employees
Chairman of Chicago's CTA Admits $7 Billion in Unfunded Repairs

CTA Chairman Carole L. Brown gave a speech to the APTA Rail Conference in Chicago on June 15, 2009.
In it she revealed an alarming backlog of repair work for our mass transit system.

"We still have an almost $7 BILLION - yes, 7 BILLION DOLLAR 0 unfunded state of good repair need."

Read her full remarks here.
Mass Transit Systems Have a Hard Time Paying the Bills

The good news, ridership is up; the bad news, ridership is up

By Alex Kingsbury , Bret Schulte, U.S. News & World Report - March 27, 2008

Strong-arming recalcitrant aldermen, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley recently framed the debate this way: Either support a property tax increase to fund the city's cash-strapped transportation authority or "stand up and say, 'I want the CTA to bypass my ward.'" Minutes later, the 40 percent tax increase on city property buyers passed overwhelmingly, 41 to 6. If only it were that easy in every burg where the aging rail lines keep rotting, the fares keep rising, and the trains have to keep rolling.
Read the rest of the story.