Chicago Transit Scare

CHICAGO (AP) -- As the Chicago Transit Authority's threatened "doomsday" budget cuts approaches, members of the public are demanding that their favorite bus route be spared.

CTA officials last night held the first of three public meetings on its proposed 2008 budget, which attempts to trim a $158 million deficit.

People like Mary Anne Sullivan of suburban Park Ridge begged CTA President Ron Huberman to spare the bus routes she uses.

Sullivan said if her bus route is eliminated, she would have to depend on the Pace bus system, which would require her to walk a mile-and-a-half to a bus stop.

If Governor Rod Blagojevich and legislative leaders don't end months of bickering by Sunday, the CTA has threatened to raise cash fares up to $2.50 a bus ride. It will also eliminate 39 bus routes and layoff more than 600 workers.

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