CTA boss Forrest Claypool and his boss.
After the Sun-Times pushed out their Springfield bureau chief David McKinney, Sun-Times reporters asked for some kind of assurance that their paper will change its spots and become an independent civic voice.
You know. Like a newspaper.
McKinney wrote the “Why I Left” letter, documenting how the editor, publisher and owners (which once included Bruce Rauner) caved to pressure from the billionaire candidate for Illinois Governor.
I have already reported that some journalists believe that the political advisors to the Mayor are expecting the Sun-Times to play a crucial and supportive role in the campaign.
The paper will try to muddy up Bob Fioretti – and Chuy Garcia if he decides to run – and ignore the lesser known candidates.
Hints of the strategy could be seen in the hit pieces the paper ran on Karen Lewis, claiming she was was a major real estate holder because of a family cabin in Michigan and a time share in Hawaii.
Today they feature this headline to a story that is barely more than a mayoral press release:
No fare hikes, service cuts in CTA’s $1.44B 2015 budget
This is so transparent. Even my dog Ulysses is more skeptical than this.
The only challenge to this pre-election smoke machine in this news item is a two short paragraph nod to unhappy CTA riders.
Some questioned why rail lines were adding service but not bus routes, which have seen cuts in recent years. Proposed cuts to the No. 11 Lincoln Avenue bus and some express bus routes, as well as pass price increases, brought hordes of protesters to the CTA’s 2013 budget hearings. CTA officials said at the time that cuts eliminated “redundant” service, including the availability of CTA trains within half a mile.
“They are ignoring the bus riders,’’ said Kevin Peterson, of Citizens Taking Action for Transit Dependent Riders. “The reason we lost all that ridership was because of the fact they did all those bus cuts.’’
The CTA bureaucrats consider bus lines a redundant service if they are within half a mile of train service.
Ask a senior, a parent with children in tow or someone with a disability if a half mile walk to a train stop over a bus on the corner is redundant service.
Did I mention that Metra ticket prices are going up by nearly 70%.
When I wrote a post a couple of months ago about the hoops seniors have to go through to get a reduced fare pass on the CTA, members of my Skokie Organization of Retired Educators (SORE) chapter thought it would be a good idea to invite someone from the CTA or Metra to come and speak to one of our chapter meetings.
They were unavailable.
To get answers to our questions about CTA service we need reporters to challenge the hype.
Good luck with that.