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"Emerging crisis" of CTA infrastructure; Huberman's first cuts

Crain's Chicago Business reports: "The Urban Land Institute cited the Chicago Transit Authority in describing an “emerging crisis” caused by the nation’s lack of investment in transportation infrastructure relative to other countries."

"Chicago alone needs $6 billion to bring its subways into ‘a state of good repair,’” according to the 69-page report.


Meanwhile, CTA President Ron Huberman follows through on his promise of cuts. Even the CTA issued a press release.  That's 49 jobs eliminated, saving $12.5 million.

And last night it was Fullerton station house's turn to be moved across the street. Nice.


Good. I think it's great for CTA employees to know that they can't just act invincible, treating customers like crap, knowing there won't be any consequences.

I like Huberman already. At least he's being honest off the bat, saying how much money he actually needs to do his job.

Now let's see what he does to improve service, especially on the Red and Blue lines.

(Let's see how much he raises fares, too.)

How about we cut the jobs that are absolutely redundant in the CTA and save some money that way?

Cut 31 jobs that weren't currently filled. Cut 18 others. These 18 will most likely be reassigned. So...no savings. Nada.

PH, those are 49 jobs that are removed from the CTA org chart, which means they no longer have to be budgeted for. That means $12.5m that can go somewhere else.

"Good. I think it's great for CTA employees to know that they can't just act invincible, treating customers like crap, knowing there won't be any consequences."

Just wanted to point out that these are admin/management positions being cut, not the union employees that actually deal with customers...the union employees are just as invincible as ever.

An observation or two. Union employees are not invincible; if anything, the hacks and cronies and clowns in supervisory and management positions who got there on the "friends and family" plan are far more "invincible" than some bus driver. That so many poor employees linger on in employment speaks volumes about poor supervision and documentation - i.e., about bad management.
If I read the article right, this is an annual budget. The annual per-job savings is $255,102. Most of these positions were not filled anyway, so how is that a savings? Even with pension, health insurance, and other contributions, I cannot believe that these positions cost a quarter of a million each. Are there other non-personnel cuts in the $12.5 million? Has anyone really scrutinized this claim? To me, reading the Trib, the claimed savings seem far lower, if not outright B.S.

The press release mentioned other budget cuts for things like advertising, travel expenses, etc.

I just want them to cut off the sending of single pieces of paper by UPS next day delivery in the city.
That's correct, the CTA's bid office has been sending out a single piece of paper for overnight delivery by UPS at a few dollars per envelope, instead of mailing it for 39¢

According to sten, we've cut 49 jobs, saving $12,500,000 -- or, ~$255,000 per person. Riight. Eliminated the dead weight, we'll all be traveling better now!

The lack of basic organizational and financial knowledge of some of the bloggers here is frightening. Mr. Huberman has been on the job just over a week and the changes the CTA requires aren't going to happen overnight. What were you expecting to wake up one morning and the CTA budget was balanced, the slow zones were gone, and the Brown Line expansion complete?

He is going to have to analyze the whole organization from top to bottom, looking at job functions, employee performance, and how it all fits together before making any significant changes. As for the 12.5 million, any moron knows that money is allocated in the budget for positions, even if they are not filled. So in a sense, it is money that is already "spent". When this occurs in the private sector, the estimated amount saved includes the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training an employee, their benefits, and other resources required for that individual to function. The CTA is probably assuming the same. By eliminating the position, it is therfore money that is "saved" and can be used elsewhere.

49 positions eliminated.

Only 18 of them were staffed.

Those 18 will be reassigned to other unstaffed positions that weren't eliminated.

The paper savings may have looked good, but the actual affect on cash flow: Big, fat goose-egg.

Shuffling papers. That's all it is. But what else can we possibly expect from a political hack who has no experience running a transit system bigger than his family's fleat of cars.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of professionals who would have loved the challenge handed over to this political hack -- especially at the salary he's getting.

When this is how the CTA is run, how can anyone be surprised that it's falling apart?

Political patronage = doomsday no matter how many papers are shuffled before proclaiming "hocus-pocus".

it may be a very big danger and confusion for the goverment of chicago.

Please visit our humor and spin on the CTA crisis. Funny. www.chicagoclout.com I hope you crack up.

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