What effect will Obama's election have on the CTA? Um, not much
Belated congratulations to Chicago's own -- President-elect Barack Obama.
In this space yesterday, Tecki wondered: "What does an Obama presidency mean for public transit in Chicago?" Martha stepped right up with her opinion on a new administration "truly dedicated to reducing energy consumption."
My prediction is that Obama's presidency won't make much of a difference to the CTA -- except that his election cinches the city's Olympics bid. And with that bid will come some federal dollars to improve public transportation to mostly South Side venues. But those dollars would have come regardless of who is president.
But the main thing the CTA needs RIGHT NOW is a large capital spending budget. And that's a state issue, not a federal one. The only way Obama might indirectly impact state capital dollars is possibly who Blago chooses to replace Barack in the U.S. Senate. That appointment could have a boomeranging effect on the state Legislature, especially at top leadership positions.
There certainly are some CTA connections in the Obama camp that could prove me wrong about my prediction of Barack's low impact on the CTA.
Meanwhile, the Sun-Times reports that "Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th) wants Obama to make Chicago the Midwest hub of a high-speed rail network and to increase CTA funding."
So, what do you think Obama's impact will be? Am I wrong?