CHICAGO — The Regional Transportation Authority early next month will issue $179 million of general obligation bonds under its deal with Illinois aimed at freeing up capital funds to help close a fiscal 2010 budget gap at the Chicago Transit Authority without a fare hike.

Ahead of the sale, the RTA board yesterday approved its fiscal 2010 capital and operating budgets that rely on layoffs, other spending and service cuts, and capital funds to offset a drop in sales tax collections. The budgets provide funding for the RTA's service boards — the CTA, Metra commuter rail, and Pace suburban bus service.

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