09/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

CTA Paying City To Pump Fuel It Owns

The CTA is facing a financial squeeze bad enough that agency president Ron Huberman has warned that fare hikes might need to be imposed next year.

But that hasn't stopped the CTA from paying extra to have City of Chicago employees do work that used to be done by the public transit agency's own workers. The agency has replaced 13 mechanics with city workers who make about $10 an hour more than the CTA workers did, records show.

There's more: The CTA is paying the city an extra 34 cents for every gallon of fuel its support vehicles use. And like the fictional Milo Minderbinder in Catch-22 -- who bought eggs for 7 cents each yet claimed to make a profit selling them for 5 cents -- the CTA says it's saving money by paying more.

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