With the city looming a financial crisis the CTA is threatening to reduce to some suburban bus service if several Cook County commissioners follow through with a plan to cut $1.3 million in county funding.
The proposal filed last week by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle could risk a battle with both Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool over how money should go to the CTA.
Just days before the CTA is set to present its 2012 budget proposal to the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Preckwinkle proposed a resolution proposing the county reduce the county’s contribution to the CTA each year to $675,000 from $2 million.
Citing the county’s projected $315 million budget deficit for 2012, the commissioners urged Preckwinkle to offer less money to the CTA next year. Cook County should be paying less for the suburban service if receives, base upon ridership, according to the resolution.
According to Preckwinkle’s spokeswoman, “The CTA primarily serves city residents and we are looking at potential options that would allow us to allocate funds for the benefit of all county residents.”
The resolution would violate a 30-year-old compact between the city, county and state to support mass transit. Reducing the funding could possibly lead to some reduction of bus service in suburban Cook County.
Currently, the CTA serves 40 suburbs. CTA representatives will discuss their proposal on Tuesday, November 15th during the Cook County board meeting.