Venezuela: Chicago Rejects Discounted Gas for Poor
Taken liberally from Jessica Pupovic's piece in the NewStandard.
In a move that should be causing riots in Chicago (or at least make the news there) the City's transit authority (CTA) is refusing an opportunity to lower commuting costs for hundreds of thousands in low-income neighborhoods. Instead, the city is planning to raise fares to solve budget shortfalls.
Pupovic reports that in an October meeting with representatives from the CTA, and other City officials, CITGO unveiled a plan to provide the Chicago with low-cost diesel fuel. The only stipulation was that the CTA, in turn, pass those savings on to poor residents in the form free or discounted fare cards.
But two months later, despite claims of a looming budget crisis, the CTA president “has no intent or plan to accept the offer,” according to CTA spokesperson Ibis Antongiorgi. She gave no explanation.
Chicagoans who are unaware of the Venezuela offer will be hit with an increase of 25 cents per ride next month, and discounted route-to-route transfers will be eliminated for passengers paying cash.
The offer of discount fuel is not just confined to Chicago. In Boston and the South Bronx heating oil is being purchased at 45 percent below the market price by non profits, who are passsing the savings to tens of thousands of low-income Americans.
Heating oil however, is rarely used in Illinois.
Observers are seeing the heavy hand of Bush Administration politics involved as the CTA depends heavily on the Federal Government for funding.