The CTA heard from disgruntled Chicagoans at Wednesday’s Transit Board meeting, where a handful of concerned residents railed on board members for recent fare increases and the reported rejection of $15 million in discounted diesel fuel.
The CTA has met with officials from a South American-owned petroleum company, Citgo, to see if the agency can accept an offer of reduced-rate fuel. CTA President Frank Kruesi said no decision has been made on the offer, despite the fact that he and agency officials have been criticized for rejecting the offer, especially in light of recent fare increases.
“I’ve used CTA for years, and this is the first week I’ve felt angry when I’ve gone through the turnstile,” said Red Line rider Beth Harris at the Transit Board meeting Wednesday.
“I don’t understand why I have to pay more in cash than my neighbor who has a Chicago Card. It’s discriminatory,” said Harris, a resident of Edgewater. “I can’t buy a Chicago Card at my station and I shouldn’t have to.”
Carole Brown, CTA chairwoman, said the CTA’s push for Chicago Cards was not arbitrary.
“I’m sorry you can’t buy a Chicago Card at your station, but since you’re here, why don’t you buy one? It’s cheaper and more efficient for us to use the cashless system,” Brown said.
South Side resident Rhonda Stevenson spoke on behalf of the “thousands of people who cannot afford the fare increase.”
“I know of a lady who has to send her son to a school that she would prefer not to because of the transition from paper transfers. Think about the children here,” she said.
“Kiki Nichols, Medill News Service