CTA LOOKING IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES:
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION REQUIRES NEW THINKING AND REAL REFORMS
(Chicago, IL) In its latest budget “Letter from the President,” the Chicago Transit Authority claims that it has no hope without yet another bailout. “While the CTA will continue to look for every opportunity to become more efficient and to apply private sector best-practices to our daily operations,” the letter reads, “there is simply no way we can manage our way out of a $158.0 million deficit.”
It appears that CTA management did not look at its own operations over time to identify the root problems that have caused its massive deficit. Instead, in a tale that is all too familiar, the only place the CTA looked for the solution was the public subsidy revenue side of the equation—and thus the taxpayer’s wallet.
Fortunately, there is another way to solve the current problem as well as the long-term problem. Real solutions reside in two places: on the spending side of the equation (the very area that CTA president Ron Huberman says they “cannot manage our way out of”) and on the pricing (revenue) side of the equation. This policy brief is intended to provide assistance.
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