Wednesday, October 24, 2007


In the Illinois Auditor General's report:

"Farebox Recovery Ratio. The Service Boards' operating budget looks nearly the same in 2005 as it did in 1985, when measured in 2005 dollars. Combined expenses increased from $1.76 billion in 1985 to $1.88 billion in 2005. ..."

"Sales taxes provided to the RTA have increased slowly from $625 million in 1985 (measured in 2005 dollars) to $700 million in 2005."

What does it mean, "measured in 2005 dollars"? Doesn't that mean that the 1985 dollars are not really the 1985 dollars, but are adjusted for inflation? They say it has risen "slightly." But if the numbers have risen over the years despite that adjustment, wouldn't that mean the system is costing considerably more (even though they are taking on fewer riders) than it did 22 years ago? If CTA, Pace, and Metra were operating as efficiently as they were 22 years ago, wouldn't it say something like "$625 million in combined expenses in 1985 (in 2005 dollars), and $625 in 2005"? That would indicate that the system is operating as efficiently today as it was in 1985. But what it seems to show is that it is actually far less efficient.

Can someone correct me on this if I'm wrong?

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