Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Legislature takes first step on structural fix for transit
HB 1663, the first step in the needed structural funding fix for transit, just passed the House with more than 90 votes. Kathy Ryg and Julie Hamos especially worked on building a consensus to move paratransit, which is essentially rides for the disabled and elderly beyond the regular routes, entirely to Pace. Pace is better at it than the CTA, and hopefully Pace can figure out how to get a Medicaid match. Paratransit, which is a 50 or 60 million annual cost, is a new cost over the last two decades which is one reason why transit agencies are broke. The lack of federal money for transit is a bigger reason, so while we can find federal money to fund the BTA (the Baghdad Transit Authority), we should find federal money for the CTA as well. Good step today.