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Your turn to lobby the Illinois Legislature and Blago

My brother Dan and I had our first interview with CTA President Ron Huberman Thursday afternoon. We had a good chat, the results of which I plan to post as soon as we finish it. We had to cut it short because Ron was very busy Thursday, monitoring the CTA funding situation in Springfield.

Huberman spent a few days this week lobbying Illinois legislators for funding so he can avoid making the "doomsday" cuts he laid out for the CTA board last week. At this writing, it didn't look good for the legislature to address the CTA funding issue. They appear to be putting it off till later this summer.

That's where you come in.

Write your legislator.

And our friend Tony Coppoletta at Save Chicago Transit has made it as easy as a click of the mouse to do. Just go here and send your note about CTA funding to your legislator and the governor.

It's time to do your part.


Rich Miller at thecapitolfaxblog reported that the RTA proposal sailed through committee with bipartisan support.

The Governor has promised a veto.

The Legislature is a bunch of cowards.

I don't know if the governor knows this, but if the CTA raises fares, that will mean that a government agency is taking more money from people -- even if you don't technically call it a "tax." Also, he seems not to realize that providing government services costs money and that it's not intrinsically evil to ask people to pay the taxes necessary to do so.

But what's lost in all this in my mind is: Where is the City on this issue? Does it not have taxing powers? Does it HAVE to be a state thing all the time?

Yes, it has to be a state thing. The CTA is not a city agency, it's a state authority. Remember, they run outside the City of Chicago too. The CTA is a creation of the state legislature. Now, if the city wants to contribute more to the CTA -- and I think they should -- then great. But technically, the CTA is the state's responsibility.

So, very basically, the state's bickering and the governer's hard-headedness will further invest in the destruction of our transit system. Each day that goes on with no changes from down south scares me more and more. I need the Harrison bus, I need the Ogden Taylor bus, I use other buses that just dont happen to run on Sunday. What will we do with such large service cuts? Doesnt the gov. know that Chicago is one of the highest tax paying areas for the state? This is a tragedy in the making.

I have written Gov. Blagojevich before, as it was my understanding that he's been blackballing this issue because of some healthcare something-or-other he's adamant about.

Does anyone more into state politics know what the situation is regarding support or oppose, and whether the legislator has a constituency in Chicagoland or elsewhere? I think that would be interesting to note.

the CTA should make no cuts after all if the CTA was to run out of money and shut down even for a day anyone want to guess at the number of minutes until the mayor and governor find the money to get and keep it running? If they wanted to save more money they'd get rid of the 4th track on the brown line as we all can see it really isn't necessary after all.

Posted by: Cheryl | November 30, 2008 at 03:33 PM


I just wanted to blow off a little steam before my children get home from school and I have to discuss this with them.

I have always taught my children to be respectful to adults (no matter how wrong you think they are), anything worth doing is wroth doing right, arguing & fighting never solves any problems and always be kind to others (look out for your fellow man.) For the first time I am wondering if I have set them up for disapointment, failure and maybe even harm.

This morning, as I do on most mornigs, I droped my 14 and 16 year old at the bus stop to make sure they make it to school on time and without incident. My neighborhood is not bad, but there are still problems in the surrounding areas.

About ten minutes later my 14 year old daughter calls me to say my son had been put off the bus. My first questions to her were "What did he do? Was he causing trouble? Was he disrespectful any any way?" I know that you train your children at home, but sometimes when they are not in your eyesight they might not behave the way they are taught. I also know that my daughter will take every opportunity to tell on her brother if he did something wrong...it's a sibling thing.

Her reply was extreamly disturbing. She said a few blocks down from where I dropped them off a boy that they did not know got on the bus and found that he did not have any more money on his bus card. My son heard what was going on and offered his bus card to the boy for the ride. The bus driver told my son to take his card back because he could not let the boy use his card. My son replied it was OK he could use one of his rides. The bus driver told him again to take his card back from the boy, he could not use it? My son asked why can't he use it if there is money on it? The bus driver told him that since he had a problem with it he and the boy had to get off the bus. Out of respect, without argument he left the bus and he and his sister called me. I thank God he is the kind of mild mannered kid he is because that entire situation could have turned into something else if my son had defended the fact that he had paid his fare and had a right to ride to his destination.

I have several problems with this:

1. He put my son off the bus after he paid his fare which made him have to pay another fare just to get to school. I am on a disability income. I have no money to give away because of ignorance. If my son wanted to share with someone to help them that is one thing, God will bless us for his sacrafice, but to have the bus drive turn his good deed into a bad situation that cost me is another story.

2. He put my 16 year of boy off the bus in an unfamiluare neighborhood without his sister leaving him alone in the streets where anything could have happened to him. I personally made sure that he got on the bus safely and expected him to get of at the school with his sister...safely! We believe in the buddy system, they watch out for each other. What this bus drive did distroyed my security system for my children with no regard for his wellbeing.

3. He left my 14 year old daughter on the bus alone to get to school. I don't even have to go into the safty issues there.

4. It was none of his business wether or not my son used my money to help somone else as long as he was not doing anything to harm the other passengers on the bus.

I thought, in the man's defense, that there might have been some rule that prohibited the sharing of the card, but after talking to my brother who is a CTA bus driver I found out people share passes all the time. If my son wanted to help someone who he saw was in need he should have been able to.

Those are just a few of the things that has me steaming. People are always critisizing the youth, and the parents of the youth for not being responsible or doing the right thing, but look at what happened when he tried to help someone in need. I know that it was not his responsibility, but I feel it was the right thing to do. If one of my children got on a bus and realized they did not have fare left on their cards, I would have appreciated someone helping them. They watch me give to strangers all the time; I am trying to insteel love and kindness in a world that is full of hate, selfishness and coldness but am I setting them up for these types of reaponses from people.

I know there might be people out there that is saying "Why is she babying a 14 & 16 year old kid?" Because I love my children and I'm not willing to take the chance with their lives. This is a dangerous and unpredicable world. My 19 year old sister was kill 1 1/2 blocks from my home when I was younger. Those memories still haunt me. I could not get out of the house fast enough to pick up my son this morning to take him to school.

I don't know what I am going to say to him when he gets home if he asks me how he should have handeled this, as he often does. I want to give him an answer that dosen't mirror my true feelings because I don't want him to respond in a simular situation with my overwhelming anger. I am an extremely mild mannered person, but I am finding myself in very unfamiluar territory...thus the reason for this blog. I just want to know, CTA, where is the LOVE?

Ahaaaa. Deep breath...I think I feel a little better now, thanks for listening.


Posted by: sheila | December 03, 2008 at 09:53 AM

I don't have kids yet, but your story really got me steamed. Your son certainly did the right thing, and it's awful that the bus driver punished him for it. I've helped people from time to time when their card doesn't work, and since it's my money, I can do with it as I please.

Not that it would probably do any good, but have you sent a complaint to the CTA?

Posted by: Tecki | December 03, 2008 at 11:39 AM

Thank you for your comment. Yes, I did send my complaint to the CTA. My daughter got his badge number and I have been assured that a complaint would be filed.

I was just wondering what was the outcome of this incident as I do have children who are almost in the same situation when I drop them off in the morning except they're ages are 12 and 14 and I would be totally miffed if this were to happen to them, as I know my children are caring and would help in any way if they could.

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