* Mark Brown: Time running out to pass transit bill
You wouldn’t think it would need to be said, but we all benefit from strong mass transit, not just those who ride the trains and buses. If you drive to work like yours truly, mass transit means that many fewer motorists with whom to contend on the roads. Fewer cars on the road mean cleaner air for all of us.
Of course, a lot of people riding the CTA don’t have the option of driving. They can’t afford a car. But our local economy couldn’t survive if they can’t get to their jobs or classes.
It’s starting to sound too much like I’m preaching, and I didn’t want to do that.
* Sales tax hike could fund CTA, road improvements
Chicago Transit Authority drivers were among those cheering the loudest as politicians promised to vote next week on a proposed sales tax increase for roads and mass transit. Those drivers received letters threatening that their jobs could be eliminated next month.
“Yes, I’m very afraid of getting laid off,” said bus driver Calvin Alexander.
“You lay us off, then it means we can’t provide for our families. Then it also messes with the public,” said CTA bus driver Gail Williams.
* Daley, others lead rally for transit funding
To provide transit funding, a Senate bill calls for a 0.25 percent increase in the RTA sales tax collected in the six-county region and a new real estate transfer tax in Chicago.
The House Mass Transit Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday on the measure in the Thompson Center. Committee Chairwoman Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) said she expected that the committee would pass the measure, and that it would be voted on by the legislature on Sept. 4.
Hamos and other supporters said they were confident they would have votes to override a veto from Blagojevich, who has said he would not approve any increase in the sales tax.
* Daley lead rally to support mass transit
* Mass transit funding close to passing?