Thursday, May 24, 2007

Doom and Boom!

Doom

The CTA unveiled its doomsday service cuts if additional operating funding is not forthcoming. News reports here, here and here.


Boom!

The RTA has finally gotten off the proverbial pot (or maybe taken the other course!) and outlined a funding plan that relies primarily upon a 0.25% rate increase in the RTA sales tax in Cook County (to 1.25%) and a 0.50% rate increase in the collar counties (to 0.75%). However, half of the collar county increase (i.e., 0.25%, $120 million annually) will go into a transportation improvement fund that the collar counties can use for roads, transit, capital improvements and operating subsidies.

Professional and personal obligations prevent me from discussing for a few days. Have at it.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Regarding the RTA--I didn't think you had it in you--eh, I mean I didn't think they had in "them". They might just do it with this turn of proposal --eh?

Moderator said...

I did suggest in a post months ago that the RTA set up funding that the collar counties could use on both transit and roads. It is heartening to see that in the RTA's proposal.

Your thinly veiled suggestion that I am affiliated with the RTA is, however, wrong. Nice try though! The overlap between my post and the RTA's proposal could well be mere coincidence.

Question: Wouldn't you be a bit peeved by the RTA proposal if you were suburban Cook County. You still are paying way more into the public transit system than you get back in service and you don't get the transportation flex funding that the collar counties get.

Anonymous said...

That concludes our important denouncement and we would now like to resume our regularly scheduled personal and professional obligations.

Anonymous said...

This innovation/empowerment fund has some potential for the counties under the right conditions. Biggest risk is that it will become a defacto pot of money for the service boards. Fine print will be critical. Best if the this "local" portion of the RTA sales tax flows directly to the counties by-passing the RTA entirely, to be used on local transportation priorities as determined by the counties. Worst if the money flows to the counties as a "grant" from the RTA with all of its onerous grant requirements and restrictions. Foregetaboutit.

Anonymous said...

The reluctance to raise transit fares is nonsense. This implies that the customer places little or no value on the product. Higher fares should absolutely be relied upon to raise revenue.

Anonymous said...

The RTA's Innovation FUnd" proposal seems like a not-so-clever ruse to build suburban support for a RTA sales tax increase. The RTA Service Boards are conditioned to think of the RTA sales tax as thiers, and will likely use any and all means to recapture the innovation fund for thier own purposes. Among the potential Service Board strong arm tactics: 1) requiring a local match from counties to leverage Service Board funds for projects in their area. 2) Cancellation of projects or withdrawal of service or programmed funds in counties that choose to use thier Innovation Funds for purposes that a Service Board doesn't like or deem worthy.