Say No to Mayor "Let Them Drive!" and His Assault on Working and Poor People!

(1) Send a Letter to Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Forest Claypool: We Demand No Rate Hikes!
(2) Join the December 10 Protest to Stop the Rate Hikes: 5 pm at CTA Headquarters (567 W. Lake)
(3) Twitter #LetThemDrive to @RahmEmanuel. Let him know what you think of the CTA rate hikes and his anti-people arrogance.


Now is the time. If we act together, we can stop the fare increases in their tracks. CTA riders and their allies didn't cause the "budget crisis." Workers and the poor shouldn't have to pay for it.


Rahm Emanuel, Mayor 1%, is at again. Attacking workers and the poor. His administration is planning to raise 2013 rates on CTA passes by as much as 74%!

Under the proposal, drafted by CTA President Forest Claypool, CTA passes will go up by ... 74% for the day pass (new price: $10); 43% for the 3-day pass ($20); 22% for the 7-day pass ($28); and 16% for the 30-day pass ($100). The day pass and 3-day pass, which are used by the poorest riders, are set to increase the most!

With extreme arrogance, the Mayor said that if people don't like the fare hikes they can "choose to drive." Really?

More than 29% of people in Chicago do not own cars. Due to the economic hardships imposed on workers by the "Great Recession" and rising prices, train ridership increased by 6% in 2011 and is at its highest point since 1991--all despite drastic cuts to CTA routes in recent years. The percentage of CTA riders that use passes: 55%.

People who buy CTA passes do so because they rely on public transit. Emanuel's suggestion that people can "choose to drive" is not just out of touch, it's downright vindictive.

What does this all really add up to? It all adds up to the simple fact that Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Claypool want to force people who can't afford the rate hikes and have no other transportation options to either walk, starve or stop paying their bills so they have the money to pay for transit. The Mayor's administration is reaching into the pockets of those who can least afford an increase in their regular expenses.

The CTA Budget Crisis is a Scam

At the same time we are being asked to pay more for public services, 66 percent of corporations that do business in Illinois pay no taxes. City Hall and Springfield hand out money to Wall Street without even blinking. They handed over the streets to Morgan Stanley when they sold the parking meters. They want to hand over our schools to McDonald's, Wal-Mart and Microsoft.


The truth: There's no need to raise CTA rates. In December 2011, the state legislature, which is ultimately responsible for funding the CTA, passed $370 million in tax breaks for Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange because they threatened to leave the city and the state. The legislature said the tax breaks would save jobs. What did Sears do after the legislature forked over the money? They turned around and laid off hundreds of workers.

Instead of paying extortion to wealthy corporations and individuals, money should be used to fund the CTA and other public services, including public education. The Sears/CME scam is actually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corporate welfare.


There is more than enough money to fund transit for workers and the poor. Illinois is a wealthy state in the wealthiest country in the world. Government budget crises are the result of tax breaks for the rich, government handouts to the corporations and the weight of mandatory interest payments that governments make to the Big Banks.

The CTA "budget crisis" is a big lie being promoted as reality--all so that the 1% can use the very real economic crisis of capitalism to escalate the largest ever transfer of wealth from the bottom to the top of society.


ANSWER Chicago and noCTAcuts.org are encouraging people to use a variety of strategies to resist the fare hikes. We will be assembling before the CTA budget hearing on Monday, Dec. 10 at 5 pm outside CTA headquarters (567 W. Lake St.) to protest the proposed rate hikes. The budget hearing begins at 6 pm.

You should join us on the streets to stop the fare hikes.
 
 
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