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State/Lake CTA station
Photograph: CC/Flickr/Adam Moss

CTA bus and train fares could increase by 25 cents in January

Written by
Stephanie Bernstein

Although it’s been eight years since the Chicago Transit Authority last raised its base fares, the transportation agency has included a 25-cent fare hike in its 2018 budget proposal.

If approved, bus ride card fares will rise from $2 to $2.25 and bus cash fares will rise from $2.25 to $2.50. Card fares for trains will rise from $2.25 to $2.50, and the monthly Ventra pass will increase from $100 to $105. All new fares would go into effect January 7.

The reason for this proposed fare hike, as reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, is a $33 million cut in funding from the state. Similarly, overall ridership has dipped in recent years—down nine percent since 2012, when ridership hit a 20-year peak.

“The state budget cut presents too much of a hurdle for us to cross without the additional revenues,” said Jeremy Fine, the CTA’s chief financial officer.

This 2018 budget proposal also includes the firing of 45 employees and the freezing of 70 job vacancies. Currently, labor costs make up about two-thirds of the total operating budget. There would be no cuts to service in the 2018 plan.

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