Chicago Transit Authority Press Event
What: A press event to highlight the impact of the cuts and fare increases
When: Monday, Nov. 5, 11 a.m.
Where: Ogilvie Station, at Jefferson and Madison streets
This press event could be a real hoot if doomsday arrives on schedule. CTA management and its customers will be reeling from their first work day post-doomsday. They will be camped outside Ogilvie Station, from which puzzled Metra commuters will emerge wondering what the fuss is all about. After all, unlike Pace and the CTA, Metra is neither cutting service nor raising fares in this first doomsday. As for the second doomsday in January, when the CTA will truly gut its bus system and Pace becomes a shadow of its former self, Metra will raise its fares all of 10 percent and increase its unlimited ride weekend ticket from $5 to--you better sit down--$7.
The juxtaposition of the CTA folks standing in the street outside a Metra station highlighting the impact of the cuts and fare increases that affect everyone but Metra and its customers is striking. Maybe, just maybe, at this press event someone in attendance will raise the question, where is the fairness in that only two of the three service boards have to go through the first doomsday? Who was responsible for the financial oversight of the region's public transit system and how did they allow doomsday to fall so unevenly on the service boards? How is it that the service board with the most prosperous ridership base was spared the first doomsday round of service cuts and fare increases while the service boards serving the most transit-dependent populations must feel the pain? And when one looks at the racial composition of the customers served by the three service boards, which racial groups are bearing the brunt of the first doomsday cuts and fare increases and which are not?
Both the Moving Beyond Congestion effort and the SB 572 process were designed to steer clear of these kinds of questions. If they fail and doomsday does descend on two of three service boards, then maybe it is time to start asking those equity/justice questions.