Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rant: CTA funding - are we saved?

Well the big news 'round here today is that the Illinois legislature approved the CTA mass transit bill, which means I won't be meeting Ryan at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday to pack on the Red line like sardines to get to work. Inevitably he'll be crabby and so will I, and that never is a good combination. That's right, I get to keep my 135, 145 and 146 routes home and I don't have to worry too much about a packed ride into work (or more packed than usual), so why am I still so pissed?

Two words: our governor. It makes me more than upset that the transit bill went down to the wire like this because of his BS-last minute addendum that seniors got to ride free to work. I know this will make me seem much meaner than usual - denying grandma and grandpas a free ride while they live on a fixed income, but let me explain. I don't agree with rides being free but I do agree that they should have heavily discounted rides. I have a set of grandparents living on a very fixed income, I get it, but I do not agree with the Governor doing this one thing at the last minute and not even because he's that concerned about seniors. He's doing this because he already looks like an ass for raising taxes, after he was elected heavily-based on his statement that taxes wouldn't be raised. I'm not nuts about paying 9.25 percent sales tax down here, but if it solve the crisis, okay. The Governor all but forced the legislature to approve this bill because if they didn't, then they're the jerks who are cutting the 80-some bus routes and forcing 2,400 CTA workers to be laid off. I wouldn't want that on my conscience.

As much as I believe in the good of people, "elderly" people will abuse this once it's enforced. I know because I watch people abuse the senior citizen seating on the bus all the time and that makes me upset because I will be paying more (when I don't make a lot already) to cover this. I fully plan on telling my dad, who will be 60 this year, that once this is enforced we should ride the bus downtown, because technically he's a "senior" so he should ride for free.

Okay, blood pressure is going down and I feel much more relaxed. But with the Nevada primary coming up this weekend, I could go "batty" again. Time to hit the gym again ASAP to keep me off the clock tower.

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