CHICAGO
12/19/2012 11:06 am ET | Updated Dec 19, 2012

CTA Pass Hike Approved: New Budget's Price Increases OKed, Extra Charge For O'Hare Workers Waived

The Chicago Transit Authority voted Tuesday to approve its $1.39 billion 2013 budget that included sweeping fare hikes on a wide swath of the agency's multi-day passes.

While the new budget holds the line on sing-ride fares at $2.25, it increases the price of one-day passes from $5.75 to $10 -- a nearly 75 percent increase. Three-day passes will go from $14 to $20, weekly passes from $23 to $28 and 30-day passes from $86 to $100. The fare hikes go into effect Jan. 14, CBS Chicago reports.

Meanwhile, one group of CTA riders got good news Tuesday as the agency moved to permanently exempt O'Hare International Airport workers from the new $5 fare for Blue Line commuters departing from the airport. The Chicago Tribune reports that anyone using a Chicago Card linked to a multi-day pass will also be exempt from the new $5 O'Hare fare for six months beyond Jan. 14.

"They didn’t want low-wage workers at a job at the airport to be adversely affected by something that was really meant to affect tourists," CTA President Forrest Claypool explained to the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to DNAinfo Chicago, the CTA expects the pass fare hikes will generate about $56 million in revenue for the agency. The budget also will reportedly eliminate a $165 million deficit projected while still investing in infrastructure improvements.

Also a part of the 2013 budget is the CTA's "de-crowding" plan, which debuted over the weekend and includes the cutting of more than a dozen "lower-demand" bus routes, including the No. 11 Lincoln route. The agency has touted its new initiative as one that will reduce uncomfortably crowded rides on the city's trains and buses and meet the needs of its growing ridership.

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