Gov. Quinn's deal not to raise fares has left the CTA with few options to balance its budget. He was looking ahead to the election and listening to commuters howl about how they couldn't afford to get to work. We suspect a lot of riders who were shivering on the "L" platform Monday morning would suddenly welcome the chance to pay another 75 cents to catch their train on time. But that's off the table.
Also untouchable are the free rides guaranteed to senior citizens, rich and poor, by the benevolent ex- Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Quinn promised to veto lawmakers' attempt to rescind that gratuitous gesture, which costs the transit system up to $60 million a year. Gutless lawmakers didn't even try to muster the votes for an override.
All of this left the unions feeling even more intransigent than usual. In the end they decided they'd rather send 1,100 workers to the unemployment line than make the kind of concessions their nonunion colleagues have already swallowed.