In November, a funding agreement brokered by Governor Quinn's office helped CTA to avoid a fare increase proposed for 2010, and any potential fare increase for 2011. However, service reductions remain part of the cost savings plan for next year. Service reductions are planned to go into effect on February 7, 2010.
"We have been and will continue to evaluate and pursue all opportunities to reduce operating expenses in order to keep our transit service as intact as possible," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "None of the decisions have been easy and although we have been able to spare riders a fare increase, the service reductions will impact both riders and CTA employees."
The CTA is continuing discussions with its labor unions on ways to reduce costs and save jobs. As a result of union contracts, CTA's budget for union salaries has increased $24 million. Nearly 90 percent of CTA's workforce is unionized.
Also, this week the Chicago Transit Authority launched the new CTA Developer Center section on its Website, transitchicago.com, which provides direct and convenient access to CTA service data. Improved access to data enables third parties to create new desktop applications, widgets and mobile applications or integrate it into existing programs designed to improve travel.
"The Developer Center is the latest example of CTA's efforts to further improve transparency and provide easy access to useful service information and data," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "The CTA Developer Center opens the door for outside developers to deliver new and innovative tools that can not only improve the public transit experience, but also how we navigate and travel throughout the area."
Static information, such as schedules and general service information, is available as a downloadable package in an open format. Real-time service information and customer alert data is also available through dedicated application programming interfaces (APIs) - allowing third-party applications to request up-to-the-minute information from CTA Bus Tracker and service information published on transitchicago.com.
The new Web page serves as a central location for program developers to learn about and access CTA service data and information.