Press Release August 21, 2015
Citizens Taking Action for transit dependent riders
Charles Paidock, Co-Director
Kevin Peterson, Co-Director
Transit Group Fears Elimination of Reduced Fare Altogether
Transit Group Opposes RTA Fare Increase for Seniors and Disabled
Citizens Taking Action, an organization comprised of transit dependent riders, is contacting city, state, and federal officials voicing concerns over plans by RTA director and finance committee chair Dwight Magalis to target free or reduced fare riding programs if there is a decrease in in state funding for the CTA, Metra and Pace in the coming year.
The group maintains that seniors and disabled don’t make up a significant number of passengers, who are often totally transit dependent, and this may actually result in less fare box revenue if they travel less often as a result of the increased cost.
Charles Paidock, Co-Director, said: “The transit system exists essentially, and is paid for, by rush hour passengers. The occasional use of public transit by seniors during off-peak periods, or on weekends, really costs nothing. No added vehicles are necessary, or schedules changed to accommodate them.”
Paidock added that “In addition, hitting on seniors really won’t bring in revenue to make-up for any cut in state funding. Seniors are not passengers who take transit every day. Furthermore, schedules have been cut at the very times seniors are likely to use the system. So in essence, they will be charged more, yet get no added service for it.”
Kevin Peterson, Co-Director of the group, said that: “Fare increases always result in reduced ridership, to which we are opposed. Senior fares it appears would go from $1.10 per ride to $2.25, which would be over a 100% increase in fare. There has never been a fare increase of this magnitude in the history of CTA.
Don Richie, a member of the group, stated that: “Raising the fare would discourage people from using public transit, whether they are disabled or not. When people stop using the systems it does not bring in any fare box revenue.”
The next monthly meeting of Citizens Taking Action will be on Monday, September 14th, from 7-9:00 PM, at Powell’s Bookstore, Halsted and Roosevelt (800 W, 1200 S)..