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FAQ

Procurement

What is a bid?

Does a vendor need to be pre-qualified to bid?

How does a vendor become pre-qualified to bid, and how often does the vendor need to renew its pre-qualified status?

Can I apply to become a CTA Vendor On-line?

Does a vendor need to pay for bid specifications?

Can bids be faxed?

When are bids opened?

What disqualifies a bid?

When will the contract be awarded?

Do I need to bid through a DBE?

What is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)?

Where do I find a DBE firm to use?

Who are approved DBE's?

Can I apply and/or maintain my DBE Certification On-line?

I'm a certified DBE with the City of Chicago/the Illinois Department of Transportation/Metra/ Pace, am I also certified with CTA?

What is the Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP)?

How do I fill out Schedules C and D?

How do I get my product approved?

Please explain the difference between purchases over and under $10,000.00?

Is everything that CTA purchases posted on the website?


Procurement

Q: What is a bid?
A: A bid is a vendor's response to a solicitation by the CTA requesting offers to provide a specific good or service.

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Q: Does a vendor need to be pre-qualified to bid?
A: No, unless otherwise specified in the bid documents.

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Q: How does a vendor become pre-qualified to bid, and how often does the vendor need to renew its pre-qualified status?
A: As stated above, a vendor does not necessarily need to be pre-qualified to bid.  A specific solicitation may require pre-qualification.  Regardless, vendors are encouraged to register online, which allows vendors to be added to CTA's database of vendors, which includes those commodities that the vendors are able to provide.

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Q: Can I apply to become a CTA Vendor On-line?
A: Yes, you can apply to become a CTA vendor on-line by accessing CTA’s on-line vendor/DBE registration system at www.ctavendor.com.

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Q: Does a vendor need to pay for bid specifications?
A: When required, you must provide CTA with cash, a cashier's check, certified check or money order, as specified in the solicitation document.

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Q: Can bids be faxed?
A: Bids must be returned to the CTA in accordance with the instructions to bidders in the bid document.

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Q: When are bids opened?
A: Bids are opened and read publicly at 11a.m. Central Time on the date indicated in the bid document.

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Q: What disqualifies a bid?
A: You should read the specification document very carefully and follow all instructions. This is the best way to keep from having your bid disqualified. In general, bids can also be disqualified for being late or missing information and/or signatures. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of reasons for disqualification.

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Q: When will the contract be awarded?
A: Contracts are awarded either following consideration and approval by the Board or in accordance with the established process for contract approval and execution for contracts that do not require Board ratification.

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Q: Do I need to bid through a DBE?
A: No.

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Q: What is a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)?
A: A DBE firm is a firm which is owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals pursuant to 49 CFR, Part 26. More information regarding CTA's DBE program can be obtained from the DBE Department.

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Q: Where do I find a DBE firm to use?
A: The Illinois Unified Certification Program publishes and maintains a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Directory which lists all certified DBEs in the State of Illinois. A copy of this directory can be viewed on CTA's web page or you may contact the DBE Department for a copy of this directory.

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Q: Who are approved DBE's?
A: Please contact the DBE department for a copy of the aforementioned Disadvantaged Business Directory.

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Q: Can I apply and/or maintain my DBE Certification On-line?
A: Yes, you can apply for DBE certification, and maintain your certification if you are already certified, on-line by accessing our on-line vendor/DBE registration system at www.ctavendor.com.

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Q: I'm a certified DBE with the City of Chicago/the Illinois Department of Transportation/Metra/ Pace, am I also certified with CTA?
A: CTA is a certifying participant in the Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP). All firms that are certified with the IL UCP through one of the aforementioned agencies are considered DBEs with CTA.

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Q: What is the Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP)?
A: The IL UCP is based on the concept of reciprocity among the participants. The certifying participants of the IL UCP are CTA, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the City of Chicago, Metra and Pace.  If a firm is approved as a DBE firm, this certification is honored by all IL UCP participants in the State of Illinois.

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Q: How do I fill out Schedules C and D?
A: Please follow the directions in the bid document or contact the DBE department should you need additional assistance.

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Q: How do I get my product approved?
A: CTA’s Technical Services department typically reviews and approves new products.

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Q: Please explain the difference between purchases over and under $10,000.00?
A: Purchases in excess of $10,000.00 are required to be publicly advertised for bid.  Purchases that are $10,000.00 or less do not require public advertisement.

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Q: Is everything that CTA purchases posted on the website?
A: No.  All competitively bid procurements over $10,000.00 are posted on the CTA’s website.

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