Angry CTA riders voice their concerns over potential fare hike

The CTA is facing a choice: raise its fares for the first time in nearly a decade or possibly have to cut services.

It's part of a decision they're making that will go into their next budget. That's a $1.5 billion dollar proposed operating budget for the CTA that could put the fare hikes in place -- and comes as both the Metra and Pace have agreed to increase their fares next year.

But they do not come without opposition.

Chanting messages and holding signs, a group of transit advocates showed up to a meeting Tuesday, held before the CTA transit board, upset.

At 25 cents for both bus and train rides -- the CTA says the fare increases are needed to help bridge a gap left by a $33-million-dollar shortage in state funding, as well as a drop in ridership.

Over a 4-year period starting in 2012, those losses hit near 50 million riders.

The proposed hike was announced last month. The CTA says the fare hikes would help generate an extra $23 million dollars, with an additional $23 million recouped through reforms.

It would be the first base fare increase in 9 years, according to the CTA, and would see card fares go up to $2.25 for bus passengers, 2.50 for people paying cash, with the cost of a monthly Ventra card raising by $5 dollars.

The board will gather Wednesday night to vote on whether to implement the fare increase. If approved, it will start in January.