The Chicago Transit Authority last week proposed raising light-rail train and bus fares by 25 cents and monthly passes to $90 from $75 to help cover a looming deficit due to poor tax collections amid rising expenses for employees and fuel.

The proposed fare increases are needed, CTA officials contend, even though the Illinois General Assembly early this year approved a sales tax increase and hike in the city’s tax on real estate transactions as part of a bailout package that benefited the Regional Transportation Authority’s service boards, including the CTA. The package provides about $500 million more annually for transit, including about $200 million for the CTA.

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