Public transportation rates rise, RTA chairman says current budget is not sustainable

The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson

Sen. Kirk Dillard live in the Allstate Showcase Studio. (WGN Radio)

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Kirk Dillard joins Rick Pearson to discuss the rising rates of public transportation. Dillard who is Chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority, says more pressure is being put on the CTA for raising rates.

Dillard explains that the current budget proposal is not sustainable due to the recovery rate.  As of now, there is a thirty three million dollar deficit. For example, Metra has had some service reductions and the federal government gave 400 million dollars for a new computer system. “All of it adds up, at some point there is a breaking point.”

Overall, he feels the CTA is doing a remarkable job of investing back into the system.” This is the first time in about eight years that the CTA is charging a fare increase. While out of the three services that the RTA controls, only “40 percent per capita” is spent on public transportation. Chicago has the “lowest operation cost of any major mass transit system,” Dillard says.