CHICAGO — An already cash-strapped Illinois would subsidize debt service payments on $166 million of borrowing by the state’s Regional Transportation Authority under a plan announced by Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday to stave off fare hikes proposed by the Chicago Transit Authority.

Under the agreement, the RTA would receive authorization to issue debt to provide the CTA with $83 million in fiscal 2010 and another $83 million in 2011. The state would cover about $15.3 million of debt service for the first two years. Future assistance with debt service would be evaluated on an annual basis. The bond proceeds would free up federal capital funds for the CTA’s operations budget.

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