New Maintenance Management System to Help CTA Reduce Costs, Improve Efficiency

December 14, 2005
December 14, 2005

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a $5.5 million contract for the purchase and installation of computer hardware that will help CTA more efficiently manage fleet maintenance at CTA bus garages and rail maintenance facilities and, as a result, reduce operating costs. CTA has been conducting a pilot program to test the system over the past few months. The computerized work order system for vehicle maintenance tracks the life cycle of vehicle parts and time required to perform maintenance duties. Once fully operational, it will allow CTA to improve maintenance efficiency.

"CTA's fleet consists of 1,190 rail cars and more than 2,000 buses and the maintenance effort needed to keep things running smoothly is significant," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?Implementing a system to track maintenance activities and inventory parts for a fleet of this scale has required a coordinated effort that numerous CTA staff have dedicated themselves to over the past few years."

Once implemented, the maintenance management information system will allow CTA bus and rail mechanics to enter all data related to vehicle work into a central data system. The system will keep track of information such as maintenance time spent, defective parts, materials used, cost of parts, and warranty information. It will also help to assist with decisions related to scheduling maintenance activities and fleet upgrades.

"Investing in maintenance technology improves operational efficiency, lowers maintenance costs and ultimately improves the service provided to customers," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?These efficiency improvements help us to use our limited resources more effectively, which benefits our bottom line. All of these efforts relate to providing the best service possible for customers."

The new system will replace the CTA's aging vehicle maintenance system implemented in the 1970s which is capable of tracking select maintenance activities. The new maintenance management information system will integrate all bus and rail maintenance activities under one system using the latest technology available.

Over the past year the Board and CTA management have embarked on an intense and thorough review of operations with an independent team of efficiency experts, AECOM Consult. The intent has been to build on the over $1 billion cumulatively saved since 1997 due to efficiency initiatives. Implementation of the new maintenance tracking system will contribute to those efforts.

In the fall, CTA installed computer hardware to test the maintenance data system at two locations ? Rosemont rail terminal and the 74th Street bus garage. System Development Integration (SD-I) of Chicago will supply and install computer equipment at all CTA maintenance facilities which includes eight CTA bus garages, nine rail terminals, and two maintenance facilities. CTA expects hardware installation, software integration, testing and training to be completed by the end of 2006.

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