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CTA Proposes Hikes To Weekly, Monthly Passes

Updated 11/20/12 - 4:19 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The New Year will mean higher fares for half of the CTA's ridership.

One day after reaching agreement on a four-year contract with its operating unions, the CTA unveiled a $1.39 billion budget for 2013 that calls for higher prices for all of its popular passes.

The price of a one day pass will nearly double, from $5.75 to $10. A three-day pass that now costs $14 will cost $20. The seven-day pass will increase in price from $23 to $28 and the 30-day pass will increase in price from $86 to $100.

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In addition, those who pay cash, buy a magnetic stripe farecard at O'Hare International Airport, or who use a Chicago Card or Chicago Card Plus set up to pay-as-you-go will see the price of a one-way Blue Line ride from O'Hare increase from $2.25 to $5.

Those who use CTA daily, 3-day, 7-day, or 30-day passes will not be subject to the O'Hare surcharge, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said. The increase at O'Hare does not affect rides inbound to O'Hare, or bus rides from O'Hare, nor does it affect any train or bus service at Midway International Airport.

The base fare will remain $2.25 for rides that start on a CTA train, and $2 for rides starting on a CTA bus. Transfers will remain 25 cents.

With basic fares staying flat, and prices for daily, 3-day, 7-day, and 30-day unlimited ride passes going up, it would be mainly the CTA's regular riders, like Heather Davis, who would be getting socked.

"I'm not looking forward to that. I just moved here, so this is my only means of transportation," she said.

Claypool said agency management has extracted $50 million in costs from its 2013 budget, and said the CTA's labor unions did their part by agreeing to a four-year contract that includes $30 million a year in work rule changes and other concessions, notably health benefits, while granting 10.25 percent in fare raises, including a 2 percent increase retroactive to July 1 that he said was contemplated in the agency's budgeting process.

"The final piece is asking the half of our customers who use passes to accept a smaller discount in exchange for protecting service, protect jobs and protect the fiscal integrity of the system," Claypool said.

The half fare for schoolchildren will drop from 85 cents to 75 cents. Claypool said it's a move to increase school attendance.

The fare increases are expected to take effect Jan. 14. They still must go before public hearings, a vote of the CTA's governing board and approval by the Regional Transportation Authority board.

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