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3/10/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CTA hires consultant to analyze expenses



The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently awarded a $1.2 million contract to consulting firm AECOM Consult to analyze the authority’s operations and help identify cost-saving measures.

The firm will evaluate a number of CTA departments, including finance, human resources and payroll, purchasing, information technology, garage terminal operations, heavy maintenance operations, service planning operations and management, facility maintenance, engineering, construction, marketing, law, employee relations, fare media and customer service.

Since 1997, CTA has reduced operating costs more than $760 million by cutting more than 1,100 positions, implementing an automated fare-collection system, and controlling overtime and workers’ compensation costs. In 2004, the authority cut 446 positions and raised base fares for the first time in 12 years to eliminate an $88 million deficit.

This year, CTA had planned service cuts and more layoffs to help address an increasing annual budget shortfall resulting from decreased state funding. But the authority has postponed those measures because the governor’s office requested more time to analyze the funding issue.

"We are continuing to examine every possibility to bridge the funding gap," said CTA Chair Carole Brown in a prepared statement. "We have to be prepared in the event that no additional operating funding is available. We will continue to work closely with the Illinois general assembly and the governor on operational funding issues, while we remain committed to carefully managing our operations and improving efficiency."


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