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updated: 9/6/2012 4:56 PM

Chicago cost-cutter picked to watch transit

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  • Bea Reyna-Hickey

    Bea Reyna-Hickey


Editor's note: The salary reported below has been corrected from what was first reported.

A former city of Chicago executive with a track record of trimming fat will now scrutinize Metra, the CTA and Pace's budgets, Regional Transportation Authority officials said Wednesday.

The RTA hired Bea Reyna-Hickey as its chief financial officer for an annual salary of $160,000. She starts this week.

The RTA has financial oversight of the three transit agencies. Recently, RTA Chairman John Gates criticized the trio for not collaborating enough and not consolidating services to save money.

Transit in Chicago faces a growing crisis as it struggles to pay for capital costs such as replacing old buses and rail cars.

RTA Executive Director Joe Costello, himself a former CFO, said Reyna-Hickey's experience "achieving efficiencies" was well-suited to help the transit system.

Reyna-Hickey was hired in 2000 as Chicago's revenue department director. Costello said she used technology to cut costs for the city and boost revenues with the use of red-light cameras, for example. Reyna-Hickey also worked as an administrator at the city's Department of Aviation.

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