Friday, September 14, 2007

Pending CTA service cuts...

Letter I had published in the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday, September 15, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007 9:08 AM
From: "Arnold Nelson"
To: "Chicago Sun-Times Letters"

Chicago Sun-Times
Gentle people:
Yesterday I passed a bus stop and saw the sign announcing impending drastic cuts in service because of no state money. The notice was mostly a long list of bus lines that would be suspended until sufficient funding is available. In that list I noticed a considerable number of express buses.
I quite easily found the CTA 2007 budget on the computer, where it says: "Labor expenses are approximately 75 percent of CTA’s total operating budget." I'm not a comptroller, but it seems to me that since express buses carry the most fares per hour of operator time (why are they express buses?) they should be the most profitable and should be the last to go. Also, since one elevated train operator is essentially driving 8 buses, they may be the most profitable of all, per unit of labor, which is 75% or the budget (The budget says the trains carry one third of all CTA passengers.) The CTA should be lauded if they are attempting to maintain a 'framework' of routes, but it seems in a severe money pinch like this the priority should be most profit from the labor you retain.
Arnold H Nelson Chicago IL