At its monthly meeting today, the Chicago Transit Board approved a contract with AECOM Consult, a professional consulting firm, to assist the CTA with an analysis of its operations to identify additional cost efficiency measures. Since 1997, CTA has reduced operating costs by over $760 million, including the reduction of more than 1,100 positions while increasing both bus and rail service. The consulting firm will review operations throughout the CTA to determine if additional cost-savings can be achieved.
"In each of the past seven years staff have worked to identify operational changes to help save money and offset the consequences of insufficient funding. Actions such as transitioning to an automated fare collection system, moving to one-person rail operations, and controlling overtime and workers? compensation expenses have all helped to lower operating costs without impacting service," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?When the 2005 budget was prepared, one of the initiatives included hiring a consulting firm to provide CTA with outside expertise that can take a fresh look at things and further enhance steps we have already taken to control costs."
In 2004, the CTA cut 446 positions and raised base fares for the first time in 12 years in order to eliminate an $88 million deficit. In 2005, service cuts and layoffs were planned to cover an ever-increasing annual budget shortfall that resulted from the failure of the General Assembly to correct an outdated funding formula for regional public transit. The Chicago Transit Board deferred the implementation of service cuts and related layoffs at the request of the Governor and leaders in the General Assembly to allow more time to work on the issue of insufficient funding for regional public transit.
"We are continuing to examine every possibility to bridge the funding gap and anything that helps reduce costs will have a positive impact on steps we may have to take in July," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?We have to be prepared in the event that no additional operational 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."
Business units within the CTA that will be evaluated include: Finance; Human Resources and Payroll; Purchasing/Warehousing; Information Technology and Applications Hosting and Management; Real Estate; Armored Vehicle Collections and Vault Operations; Garage Terminal Operations; Heavy Maintenance Operations; Service Planning Operations and Management; Facilities Maintenance; Non-Revenue Vehicle Maintenance; Engineering; Construction; Paratransit Operations; Marketing; Law; Employee Relations; Fare Media; and Customer Service.
AECOM Consult, a DMJM+Harris Affiliate, undertakes many transportation planning assignments for federal, state and local agencies. These assignments focus on a broad range of technology options to address transportation problems in major metropolitan areas, intercity corridors and statewide efforts. The contract is for $1.2 million.# # #