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State Stranding Suburban Communters?

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Suburban transit officials complained today that they’re being shut out of 11th-hour talks on state funding. Chicago Public Radio’s Gabriel Spitzer reports.

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The Illinois governor called in CTA leadership this week for a face-to-face meeting. But Metra and Pace, the suburban rail and bus systems, were not invited.

Metra chairman Carole Doris says the CTA has grabbed the headlines with its threats of painful service cuts and fare hikes.

DORIS: The meeting called by the governor only foreshadows at best a short-term band-aid to one agency’s emergency. Are we going to see Metra penalized for its responsible stewardship?

Metra officials say they can fill their budget hole by diverting money from capital projects.

But they say they’re considering draconian fare increases, too – if not for next year, then for years beyond.

Chairman Doris says she’s pessimistic about getting new money for Metra this legislative session.

I’m Gabriel Spitzer, Chicago Public Radio.

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