CTA Extends Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) Program with City Colleges

March 13, 2024

Successful program provides an attractive incentive for candidates interested in a career as a bus operator

The Chicago Transit Board today authorized an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with City Colleges of Chicago (City Colleges) to extend the offering of a free preparatory course for qualified CTA bus operator candidates to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP).

“At a time when the transportation industry continues to experience difficulty finding qualified, licensed drivers, we are excited to continue this partnership with Chicago City Colleges and Olive-Harvey,” said CTA President Dorval Carter, Jr. “The CLP pilot program proved to be very successful, helping us meet and exceed our 2023 hiring goals for bus operators, by providing quality, specialized training and opening a door many candidates may not have pursued otherwise due to the financial burden.”

The CLP program was piloted in 2022 and of those who have participated in the program, 145 candidates have successfully been hired by the CTA.

“We are so proud of this partnership with Chicago Transit Authority because it creates a clear career path for our students as well as serves our great city,” said Dr. Kimberly Hollingsworth, president of Olive-Harvey College. “Helping develop productive workforces through engaging learning is our goal at Olive-Harvey and we hope everyone interested takes advantage of this unique program.”

Qualified CTA bus operator candidates are eligible to participate in a two-week course to acquire a CLP, which is needed to obtain a Class “B” Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). CTA covers the cost of tuition, training, books and exam fees, removing financial barriers for students to pursue and complete the program.

Per the terms of the agreement, CTA will reimburse City Colleges in the amount of up to $300,000 annually for up to two years. The extension of this training course at Olive-Harvey College further strengthens CTA’s relationship with the College, which also includes other measures. In 2021 the CTA Second Chance Program (SCP) partnered with the college to offer its CLP Prep Program for free to CTA Second Chance Program participants. Additionally, the CTA pays the participants’ Illinois State Exam fee. The CLP program is just one of the many ways CTA supports its Second Chance Program participants on their career path to permanent employment.

These workforce training programs are valuable to CTA and help prepare certain employment applicants with the necessary skills and best practices to be qualified candidates for positions in the transit industry and build a solid career. For more information about CTA employment opportunities, visit transitchicago.com/careers.


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