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RTA approves 2010 CTA budget

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The Regional Transportation Authority approved the Chicago Transit Authority's $1.27-billion budget for 2010. The budget includes management efficiencies, elimination of more than 1,000 jobs and service reductions. In total, the CTA's 2010 operating budget is nearly $1 million lower than the projected 2009 operating budget.

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.

Developers are encouraged
to contact the CTA and provide feedback regarding the available tools and
content as the agency continues to look for ways to further evolve the site.
Any questions, comments or suggestions can be sent to [email protected]

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