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CTA ridership up, but so is debt

More customers normally might mean more financial stability.

More customers normally might mean more financial stability. But after months of surging ridership on the nation’s second-largest transit system, the Chicago Transit Authority has announced belt-tightening measures to address looming debt. CTA head Ron Huberman says those measures include eliminating 80 administrative jobs and deferring non-critical spending. They won’t include immediate fare increases. The CTA says the measures should save about $40 million. High energy prices are partly to blame for the CTA woes. It also lost millions in potential revenue when the legislature agreed to let seniors ride for free. The agency didn’t say how large a debt it faced for 2008. The CTA says ridership for August was up nearly 10 percent compared to the same period a year ago. AP ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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