November 13, 2015
The Civic Federation supports the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) FY2016 operating budget of nearly $1.47 billion. The budget represents a continued effort to actively manage costs and improve service levels. The CTA is continuing to benefit from reforms made in its past four budget cycles. This budget restores some express bus service that was cut in 2010 due to budget constraints, enhances bus service in the central business district and invests in technologies that improve the transit experience, despite resource limitations.
However, the Civic Federation urges the CTA not to rely on the restoration of state funding for reduced fare subsidies. We recommend developing an alternate budget plan for FY2016 and working with the RTA, Illinois General Assembly and Governor to re-evaluate the state mandated free and reduced fare programs. The Civic Federation also retains some concerns about the CTA pension fund’s overly optimistic expected investment rate of return of 8.25%. This rate remains well above the expected rates of return for other local funds.
The CTA’s fiscal year begins January 1, 2016 and ends December 31, 2016.