State

Chicago transit agencies promise no fare hikes

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's transit agencies have announced budget plans for next year that include promises of no fare increases or service cuts.

The board of the suburban commuter rail agency Metra approved its proposal Friday. The operating budget of more than $728 million is a nearly 2 percent increase over 2013.

The agency says that reflects increased costs of labor and benefits as well as maintenance and equipment inspections.

The Chicago Transit Authority on Friday released a proposed budget of about $1.4 billion that will maintain current fares while continuing investment in modernizing the rail system.

The suburban bus service Pace released a budget on Tuesday that also avoids fare hikes.

Pace said it anticipates investing $3.4 million in service expansion and new initiatives after finishing this year under budget.

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