CTA public meeting no waltz in the park
More than 200 angry CTA riders visited Michelle's Ballroom Thursday night, but they didn't come to dance.
They came to vent.
But CTA President Ron Huberman was the perfect dance hall host, graciously greeting customers before the big dance, and then passionately explaining the CTA contingency plan -- a heinous mix of service cuts and fare raises. (See the plan here, in pdf.)
But as Ron noted, the plan is contingent on funding from Springfield. "The minute -- the very minute -- that we get funding from Springfield, this plan goes away," Ron said.
Huberman told the overflow crowd how his staff and him came up with the plan, and then got out of the way for CTA riders to give their opinions.
And those riders waltzed to the mike most of the evening, some with thoughtful ideas and comments, others with rants and raves. (One commenter strayed far from the CTA issue and asked: "What do we get from the $900 billion we spent on this war? DEAD ENEMIES!!!")
I had one big "ah-ha!" moment: when Huberman put up a slide on the percentage of public funding that various cities get for their transit systems. Here it is:
Given these figures, I'm amazed the CTA's deficit was just $110 million.
If you haven't yet, you MUST call or write your state legislators.