The Chicago Transit Authority board is expected to discuss ways to shore up its finances during its meeting tomorrow.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow on the second floor of CTA headquarters at 567 W Lake St.
The board is scheduled to discuss a resolution from its Committee on Finance, Audit and Budget to explore the creation of an independent non-profit organization to "support its mission" but CTA officials offered no specifics Tuesday as to what the organization would do.
"We do not receive information on the specifics of the board materials beforehand," said CTA media relations manager Wanda D. Taylor. "I asked around. In order to find out what the item is, it is necessary to attend the board meeting."
Earlier this week, authority officials announced that they expect to lose a total of $66.5 million in 2009, about half of which they attribute to programs that allow seniors, the disabled and members of the military to ride for free.
The rest is the result of the loss of $32 million in the state's reduced fare subsidy and spiraling fuel prices, officials said.
To help solve the problem, CTA officials plan to eliminate 80 administrative jobs though layoffs and cutting vacant positions before the end of the year, according to a press release.
"The realities of a weak economy and new unfunded mandates such as the free rides programs require us to find additional ways to cut costs," says CTA President Ron Huberman in a press release. Authority representatives declined comment before the meeting.
Also tomorrow, transit officials are expected to discuss a resolution allowing for a second 180-day experiment extending Yellow Line weekend service and expanded evening service on two lines: the #43 on 43rd Street and the #65 on Grand Avenue.
Amy Lee is a Chicago-based journalist. She covers transit issues for the Daily News.