05/08/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

CTA Bus Drivers' Pay Is Best In Nation, Adjusted For Cost Of Living

At $28.64 an hour, the top wage rate for Chicago Transit Authority bus drivers ranks third-highest among U.S. transit agencies, according to an analysis conducted for the Tribune.

The rankings catapult CTA bus drivers to elite status -- the highest-paid in the nation -- when the cost of living in the Chicago area is compared with the Boston and San Jose markets. That was the case in 2008 as well -- before the last two CTA pay raises -- when an internal study by the Amalgamated Transit Union, the labor union that represents CTA bus drivers, ranked CTA drivers No. 3 overall in top hourly pay and No. 1 when the Consumer Price Index was taken into account.

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