The Chainlink

This is an insane hike!  As someone who works for a non-profit, this is an outrageous expense for me.  In winter months I find it unbearable to ride my bike to work, but it appears riding a bike is quickly becoming the more reasonable way to travel, despite comfort. 

Is it just me, or is Chicago becoming way too expensive to live comfortably in?  I just had to downsize to a studio because I could no longer afford my 1 bedroom. 

Ah, inflation....

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I definitely feel for you. My wife is a full time CTA rider, and we're now trying to do the math on the 30 day pass versus anything else. At the old $86 rate, we were just about breaking even on rides and cost (she rides twice a day, and sometimes 3 or 4, depending on week.)

It appears that with the cost increase, you'd need to make about 6 more rides a month to enjoy the same value you did before. Now, I'll be getting her a Chicago Card Plus that allows us to pay per ride, as it's 'cheaper' and a better value. 

[OT ON]And, to answer your question about Chicago and its cost of living - it all depends. If you want to live in a nice neighborhood that's somewhat close to public transit and downtown, yes ...it's getting expensive. 

However, there are still some off-the-radar neighborhoods that are fairly cheap. [OT OFF]

What does your non-profit do when expenses rise but income is finite and it's legally forbidden from running a budget deficit?

Well this is the problem.  I haven't even had a cost of living raise in 3 years so every time something like this happens its as though I get a pay cut.  I love my job but I don't know that I can afford to work at a non-profit anymore.  Our model is  half fee-for-service, half contributed income so we look to the fee for service portion of the company to get us more business and raise salaries.  But we work with the Chicago Public Schools for that income and they're experiencing the financial noose too, just like we are.  It's looking grim on all fronts. 

Anyone in need of a program evaluator?  Only half kidding. ;-)

h' said:

What does your non-profit do when expenses rise but income is finite and it's legally forbidden from running a budget deficit?

Let's do some math so you can continue paying $86

86 / 2.25 (price per ride, no increase on that) =  ~38 rides. Assuming 2 rides per day, that's 19 days of CTA per month.

A month has usually 20-23 work days, so that's 1 to 4 days of only biking and no CTA.

Of course, I don't know how often you use the CTA on a given day, but that's how I "fight" the increase, if I relied on CTA.



It is pretty astonishing that the CTA would stick it to their most loyal customers - presumably those who use a monthly pass are the riders who ride the most. 

I'm sure you've all read or heard what the Mayor had to say about the fare hike. "You can either drive to work or you can take public transportation,...

I'm no fan of Emmanuel but the point that he's trying to make, in Daley-esque elegance, is that CTA is still the more attractive option. 

Holly said:

I'm sure you've all read or heard what the Mayor had to say about the fare hike. "You can either drive to work or you can take public transportation,...

In essence, the CTA has the same dilemma... every year at budget time there's a big question looming of whether Chicago can afford to have a public transportation system anymore.

Carrie said:

Well this is the problem.  I haven't even had a cost of living raise in 3 years so every time something like this happens its as though I get a pay cut.  I love my job but I don't know that I can afford to work at a non-profit anymore.  

Looks to me like an effort was made to shift the additional cost to those who can best afford it.

Did you see that student fares had actually decreased?


Tony Adams said:

It is pretty astonishing that the CTA would stick it to their most loyal customers - presumably those who use a monthly pass are the riders who ride the most. 

 Why doesn't he suggest the good ole foot to pavement or the bike? 

Holly said:

I'm sure you've all read or heard what the Mayor had to say about the fare hike. "You can either drive to work or you can take public transportation,...

I think Chicago is still pretty inexpensive relative to other comparable cities.  Just looking at rents, NYC or San Fran both have much higher rents for smaller spaces.  In terms of living expenses, I'd say Chicago is about on par with other comparable city.  I'd say the problem isn't living expenses being too high as much as it is, wages stagnating over the last decade or so.

Oh, I get it. Because all those poor people who take the CTA might otherwise drive their luxury cars to their minimum wage jobs.


h' said:

I'm no fan of Emmanuel but the point that he's trying to make, in Daley-esque elegance, is that CTA is still the more attractive option. 

Holly said:

I'm sure you've all read or heard what the Mayor had to say about the fare hike. "You can either drive to work or you can take public transportation,...

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