CTA is among the first U.S. public transportation leaders to formally commit to increasing contracting opportunities for Historically Underutilized Businesses
Last week, the Chicago Transit Board voted to formally adopt the Equity in Infrastructure Project’s (EIP) Pledge, reinforcing the agency’s commitment to increase the number, size and proportion of contracting opportunities for Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs). EIP seeks to help build generational wealth and reduce the racial wealth gap by assisting HUBs that seek to participate in large capital construction projects as prime contractors, joint venture partners or as equity participants.
“I am grateful to my longtime friends and transportation industry colleagues who founded EIP-- Phil Washington, CEO of Denver International Airport, and John Porcari, former Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation--and look forward to the work we will do to address the systemic disadvantages experienced by companies that have, for too long, been locked out of meaningful competition for substantial contract awards,” said Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “Since 2021, CTA has been committed to moving EIP forward, in part by sharing the successful local initiatives executed by CTA’s Diversity Programs Department with our transit peers, and creating national models that can be replicated, both by other public transit agencies and by organizations providing other modes of transportation, as well.”
Today’s Board action allows the CTA to continue to participate as one of the program’s “First Movers” —a designation given to the five initial pledge signatories, which include Denver International Airport, the Port of Long Beach, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
EIP was founded in anticipation of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and to answer President Biden’s call to leverage infrastructure spending to build wealth in underserved communities. By signing onto EIP’s Pledge, CTA has committed to using funds from the IIJA to increase contracting opportunities going to HUBs by facilitating access and reducing barriers to compete for business.
EIP’s definition of “HUBs” includes Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE), Small Business Enterprises (SBE) and any other business classification used locally in the United States that is intended to boost the participation of otherwise underutilized firms, which can vary by state, region, and municipality.
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