Management Efficiencies Result in Measurable Service Improvements

November 7, 2007
11/7/2007

Chicago Transit Authority President Ron Huberman today detailed management efficiencies that have resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of buses put into service each day.

"By changing management practices at garages, our mechanics are now able to work faster and more accurately. As a result, more buses are available and we can provide more reliable service," said Huberman.

By developing a system to catch up on preventative maintenance, over the past three months the CTA has been able to reduce by 89 percent the average number of daily runs canceled due to defective equipment. By training managers on absenteeism and demanding more accountability, the number of daily runs canceled due to manpower shortages decreased by 34 percent in the same time period.

Bus Runs Held In

Huberman noted that extreme weather is a factor in equipment problems and that the numbers tend to be higher in summer than in fall. But even factoring that into the analysis, the number of runs canceled is lower than the average for the first part of the year.

The combined result is more service available for customers and more reliable intervals between buses.

"With such strong results right out of the gate, we are very excited about the potential improvements we can make to service when all our new initiatives are fully underway," said Huberman. ?By reducing breakdowns and improving bus availability, we can provide better service for our riders. We can also reduce our maintenance costs and operate more efficiently."

Huberman said that he has been working with the Civic Consulting Alliance to identify top-level management consulting firms willing to provide their expertise at no charge to the CTA. The Civic Consulting Alliance is a not for profit consulting firm that brings private sector resources on a pro-bono basis to assist public sector organizations. The CTA has already leveraged over two-million worth of pro-bono consulting services since May. ?The tremendous support the private sector has provided to CTA is an excellent example of the commitment of Chicago's business community to the city. It is also a reflection of the importance the business community places on transit, and its impact on the future of Chicago," said Brian Fabes, CEO of the Civic Consulting Alliance said.Booz Allen Hamilton helped launch the Performance Management initiative ? the results of which are used by CTA management daily to hold managers accountable and track overall performance of the organization.

IDEO provided input on improving customer communications through new signage standards and positioning. In the coming month, the CTA will announce a new strategy on how it will use signage to make the CTA more user friendly.

Deloitte provided best-practice advice for construction management and helped develop principles for improving the existing system. Based on this input, the CTA is currently reorganizing its construction department to increase effectiveness.

Katzenbach Partners has provided assistance with a bus cleanliness initiative. Huron Consulting is assisting with Control Center Operations.

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