Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Illinois grant spares CTA from planned service cuts

The Chicago Transit Authority avoided service cuts this summer thanks to a $54.3 million grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation to the Regional Transportation Authority in June.

Before receiving the additional funding, the CTA planned to reduce services to the Sunday schedule every day starting July 17, according to CTA documents. The CTA also planned on increasing fares. Without the money, the CTA would have eliminated 54 routes, including the Purple Line Express, as well as about 2,000 jobs. The CTA estimated wait times would increase by about 68 percent with such cuts. But without changes, the CTA expected a $55 million deficit for 2005.

While helping the CTA for 2005, the grant only will provide temporary relief. The CTA will need to make service changes in the future to achieve a stable budget, a CTA spokesperson said. After the 2006 budget comes out in October, the CTA may need to return to the same or similar plans for cuts.

“Cut the Purple Line Express?”Education senior Jonathan Marino said. “That would kill me. I rely on it, heavily.”

Marino held a summer internship in downtown Chicago and is continuing to go in once a week. Without the express route he would not have time to go to his internship and would have to quit, Marino said. Students also rely on the Purple Line for rides to entertainment venues.

“I wouldn’t be able to get back from shows without the purple line at night,” Communication senior Russ Armstrong said.

Armstrong said he generally uses the El to travel downtown for late-night theater shows. The alternative? A taxi, driving, a roundabout CTA route or don’t bother going.

“For students the Purple Line is very important,”Marino said. “It determines whether people go downtown.”

–Elizabeth Gibson

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Illinois grant spares CTA from planned service cuts