Left to right, CTA President Dorval Carter (left); top right, Pace Executive Director T.J. Ross (left) ; and lower right, Metra CEO Don Orseno (right) present to the RTA Board of Directors.
CTA, Metra and Pace leadership presented their 2018 proposed operating budgets and capital plans to the RTA Board of Directors this morning. 2018 will be an unusual budget year, with all three transit agencies proposing fare increases. All the leaders spoke of the operating and capital funding challenges they face and said that increasing transit ridership is top of mind. Metra CEO Orseno spoke of the need to align Metra service with TOD development, to bring riders closer to transit locations. CTA President Carter spoke of the difficult process of deciding to increase fares and the need to seek out additional funding sources. Pace Executive Director Ross spoke of increasing Bus on Shoulder service and pointed out that Pace is the largest bus-only system in the country. It was an important morning and I am proud to report that all three leaders spoke of the positive collaboration with the RTA, which ultimately benefits riders. The RTA Board of Directors will vote on the regional transit operating budget and capital program at its December 14 meeting.