CTA - Chicago Transit Authority

Procurement Process

Establishing your firm with CTA

CTA's Purchasing Department maintains lists of vendors, contractors, and consultants according to the commodities and services they supply. You may become an approved vendor by following steps 1 through 6:

  1. Visit the CTA Business Diversity Management System.
  2. In the CTA iSupplier Portal – Registration section, select the CTA iSupplier Information button.
  3. Select the New iSupplier Registration link; complete the Prospective Supplier Registration information and submit for approval.
  4. Once approved, an email will be sent with an initial logon password. The email address supplied becomes your user name.
  5. Return to the CTA iSupplier Portal – Registration section, select the CTA iSupplier Information button.
  6. Select the Existing iSupplier Registration link to update your company information.

Training documents for CTA’s vendor registration process are available on the Business Diversity Management System website.
If you have any questions regarding vendor registration, please refer to the training documents or send an email to ctavendormgmt@transitchicago.com.

E-mail notifications

CTA is now notifying registered vendors of new publicly advertised contracting opportunities via e-mail. The email notifications will be sent to CTA registered vendors by commodity. For vendor registration and other information please visit the CTA Vendor Registration and DBE Certification web site at http://cta.dbesystem.com.

All vendors are encouraged to update their business contact information including their e-mail addresses and list of commodities as all notifications will be sent electronically by email. If you have questions regarding vendor registration, please contact CTA Vendor Management at ctavendormgmt@transitchicago.com. For questions about bid notifications, please contact the CTA Bid Office at (312) 681-2050.

Material, Part, & Service Vendor




Architectural and Engineering firms should verify that they are listed in the appropriate service categories:


Vendor Responsibility Record

CTA encourages its vendors to maintain a responsible performance record by adhering to all contract terms and specifications. This includes providing specified materials or services and making on-time deliveries.

If your past performance on CTA contracts is unsatisfactory, you may be suspended from a vendor's list and denied the right to bid on CTA purchase orders or contracts, per the CTA's debarment and suspension regulations.


Types of Purchases and Sale Transactions:

CTA purchases rail cars and buses, parts for rail cars, buses, and service vehicles, office supplies, and a wide variety of materials and services for the maintenance, repair and operation of the CTA.

According to the Municipal Transit Act of Illinois, and the CTA's Regulations Governing Purchase and Sales Transactions, CTA is required to accept competitive bids for any purchase order or contract exceeding $40,000 for personal property, materials or supplies, labor, services or work; or the sale of scrap, surplus material, and obsolete equipment.

Exceptions to this requirement include purchase orders and contracts for sole source items; services for professional, technical or artistic skill; emergency or public exigency purchases; and goods or services procured through competitive negotiations.

Purchases or sales of less than $40,000 must be let by competitive bidding, whenever possible, after solicitation of bids by email, telephone or other means.

The two types of purchase and sales transactions covered in this brochure are as follows:

Transactions Requiring Competitive Bids

Request For Quotations

When materials or supplies costing less than $40,000 are required, the Purchasing Department issues a Request For Quotations to CTA approved vendors. An RFQ includes a complete description of the item and quantity requested.

Invitation For Bids

The Purchasing Department publishes an Invitation For Bids in an English language daily newspaper of general circulation (currently the Chicago Sun-Times). Bid documents are posted on the CTA web site.

In addition, public notice may include periodic handouts listing proposed contracts or announcements of proposed contracts in trade journals, minority and female publications, Spanish or other foreign language publications, magazines and other mass communications media. Notices are also posted on the bulletin board on the 2nd floor, 567 W Lake. St. Chicago, IL 60661-1498.

Interested vendors should download a bid package from CTA's website to learn more about a bid. Bid packages are also available in the CTA's Bid Office.

Sales Proposals - Scrap, Surplus Material, Obsolete Equipment:

CTA's Purchasing Department solicits bidders for scrap, surplus material and obsolete equipment. Your company may be added to the bidder's list by registering online, http://cta.dbesystem.com.


Other Procurement Opportunities

Request For Proposals

The Purchasing Department posts a notice on the CTA website detailing RFP due date and response procedures. Other consultants or firms learn of CTA's need for service for a specific project through CTA newspaper advertisements, CTA website, contact with CTA purchasing personnel or postings at the CTA Bid Office.

Architectural and Engineering Services

The selection of licensed architects, engineers, and surveyors for award of contracts is made through a qualification-based method of competitive negotiations. Solicitations of "Letters of Interest and Qualifications" are posted on the CTA's website and are published in the Chicago Sun-Times and state a brief scope of work and the filing deadline for responses.

Interested consultants should obtain a solicitation letter from CTA's Purchasing Department to learn more about the project being offered. Responses to CTA's solicitation must be received by the filing deadline and should address the items for consideration as fully as possible.

CTA evaluates every response based on the items for consideration and selects the most qualified firm with which to conduct negotiations. A successful negotiation brings CTA a fair and reasonable price for the consultant's work on the project and is formalized in a contract with that consultant.


Emergency Contracts

As stated in the CTA Procurement Policy & Procedures, the Chairman of the CTA Board may authorize the negotiation and award of an emergency contract to purchase supplies, materials, equipment or services. Although competitive bidding in such situations is strongly encouraged, it is not required.

During declared emergencies or public exigencies, CTA will request quotations for the necessary supplies or services from known, reliable sources. If you are interested in being considered for an emergency contract, you must maintain a current application, as well as an exemplary track record on your deliveries and contract performance.

©2018 Chicago Transit Authority
Phone: 1-888-YOUR-CTATTY: 1-888-CTA-TTY1Website: transitchicago.com