Chicago/ Transportation & Infrastructure
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Published on February 28, 2024
CTA President Showcases Agency Progress on Employment and Service to Chicago City CouncilSource: Chicago Transit Authority

CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. bragged about the strides the Chicago Transit Authority made last year, detailing a robust boost in employment and service enhancements during his meeting with the Chicago City Council Committee on Transportation and Public Way. According to a report by Transit Chicago, Carter outlined how the CTA has surged forward with aggressive hiring sprees and increased ridership, notching up 27 days with over one million customer trips.

"2023 was a very productive year," Carter assured the council, highlighting the hiring of 1,003 new bus operators—a record for the agency—and 101 bus mechanics. The transit agency is looking to aggressively continue to train new rail operators, aiming to add 200 over the next year. Service reliability is scaling new heights, where CTA nearly fills 100% of its bus schedules and on average, 90% of rail services.

CTA's push for openness was underscored by the introduction of a performance dashboard, rolled out in 2023, which lays bare data on service delivery and system performance, readily accessible to the public. During the meeting, Carter invited CTA’s Chief Administrative Officer Tom McKone to demonstrate the features of the public dashboard, furthering the organization's pledge to transparency.

Carter also highlighted the advancements in equity efforts. "In 2023, CTA awarded more than $137 million to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises," he stated. Besides the economic achievements, CTA also invested in the community, injecting $2 million into a partnership aimed at assisting unsheltered riders, and addressing mental health and substance abuse issues. Moreover, the agency is set to firmly commit to adding more to its workforce this year, embracing service expansion for bus and rail systems.

The future looks promising, with an array of large-scale projects on the horizon, Carter told the council. Among them is the Red Line Extension project, a $3.6 billion venture, anticipated to reach a definitive moment with the expected signing of the "Full Funding Grant Agreement" in 2024. "It is hard to put into words how tremendously historic that moment will be for the CTA and our City," Carter expressed. The initiative is seen as a rectification, extending rail service to districts that had been overlooked for more than half a century. Carter's team, inclusive of several CTA chiefs and a vice president, was present to support the briefing and engage with any council inquiries.

Chicago-Transportation & Infrastructure