Monday, May 09, 2005

Is a CTA bailout necessary???

That's the question I've been asking all along. But now, it looks like the issue will be studied (From the Sun-Times:
    State leaders are ordering the CTA to open its books for a budget review while lawmakers consider a transit bailout, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. Illinois Transportation Secretary Tim Martin called for the independent audit to make sure the CTA really is $55 million in the red -- not just crying poor while threatening fare hikes and service cuts. Metra and Pace will undergo similar audits, but much of the state's focus is on the CTA as that agency prepares for a July 17 doomsday scenario. "Right now, it's a matter of going in and looking at detailed [budget] numbers and try to find out how [the CTA] arrived at that $55 million figure," Illinois Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Vanover said.
Yet in a way, this kind of study misses the point. The real reason for the crisis is not necessarily the lack of money, but the abundance of people there are to blame. The CTA should not be funded by the state. The reason is, when you ask downstate lawmakers to fund something that is exclusively important to the Chicago region, it will be pushed to a crisis every time. A more localized body of government, perhaps Cook County (since the entire CTA system is contained in Cook County), should collect the taxes that fund the CTA. That way, if the people of Chicago don't like how the CTA is funded, we can actually do something about it at the polls. When the state is involved in deciding funding, it's becomes a statewide blame game. There is a massive amount of wealth in Cook County. We can fully fund the CTA without help from the state, and we can put an end to the constant state of crisis that the CTA finds itself in.


Blogger Amy Allen said...

Welcome back! You've been missed!

5/09/2005 09:52:00 PM  
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