Dear Mr. Joravsky,
A point worth noticing, which has so far escaped the attention of the media: at the time the CTA eliminated passes [Neighborhood News, February 3], it did in effect raise the fares. What had formerly been the higher “rush hour” cash fare became the fare for the entire day, so if you were a cash-paying customer who rode on the weekday during non-rush hours, you certainly did have your fare increased.
Like Mr. [James] Bottoms, I have responded to the pass elimination in my own way. When I am out and use a transfer, I make a point of passing it along to someone for the third ride, even if I have to wait 15 minutes in the cold to do so. Riders are generally appreciative.
No doubt next the CTA would like to eliminate transfers. Good for them. But I agree with those who say elimination of passes also eliminates the need for the CTA. Who can justify maintaining a monolithic, centralized structure when buses will run just as well, if not better some would argue, when bus routes pass into the hands of private bus companies. I would have been loathe to make such an argument previously, because surely there will be citizens living along certain bus lines that will have to suffer; but in eliminating passes CTA raised the ante, and that is the next logical step.