Procurement Regulations & Policies

Laws, Regulations, Agreements & Manuals

CTA's purchasing process is governed by these laws, regulations, agreements and manuals:

  1. Metropolitan Transit Authority Act, 70 ILCS 3605/1-49
  2. CTA Procurement Policy & Procedures (.pdf)
  3. Federal Transit Administration's Third Party Contracting Guidelines, Circular 4220.1F,
  4. Federal Transit Administration's Master Agreement
  5. Illinois Department of Transportation, Public Transportation Capital Improvement Grants (.pdf)
  6. Regional Transportation Authority Act, 70 ILCS 3615/1.01-5.05
  7. Federal Transportation Administration Best Practices Manual
  8. CTA Code of Ethics Ordinance (.pdf)
  9. State of Illinois Office of Executive Inspector General
  10. Rules relating to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises) set out at 49 C.F.R. 26.1 et seq.)
  11. CTA Minimum Wage Regulations The Midwest CPI for April 2023 was 281.927, so the CTA’s new minimum wage effective July 1, 2023, will be $16.20.   


CTA Procurement Policies:

Trade Names

When a trade or brand name is used to describe a type of material or service, it is for descriptive, not restrictive, purposes; "or equal" is fully implied.


Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Participation



It is the CTA's policy to maximize Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) participation in its contractual arrangements pursuant to the regulations in 49 CFR, Part 26. In this regard, all contracts in excess of $40,000 are assigned a DBE goal.

To assist contractors in fulfilling these goals, CTA's Diversity Programs Department maintains a directory of Illinois Unified Certification Program (IL UCP) certified DBEs which are available for subcontracting opportunities. Only IL UCP certified DBE firms may earn credit towards a DBE goal. A copy of this directory and the application for DBE certification can be downloaded from CTA's web page


Mistakes or Defects in Bids and Proposals

If a mistake is made on an RFQ, IFB, Sales Proposal, or RFP, you may amend it at any time prior to the designated close date. If you fail to correct a mistake prior to the designated close date, you will be held liable for your bid or proposal if CTA awards a purchase order or contract to you based on your original submission.

Mistakes must be corrected before the following times and dates:

  • RFQ - 2:00 p.m. on the close date.
  • IFB - 2:00 p.m. on the bid opening date.
  • RFP & LIQ - 3:30 p.m. on the advertised due date.
  • Sales Proposals - Over $40,000 - 2:00 p.m. on the bid opening date
    Under $40,000 - as stated on the proposal.

CTA reserves the right to reject any bid.


Notice of Acceptance

Successful bidders will be notified by CTA within 90 days of the bid opening unless otherwise specified.

Bid deposits are returned within 10 calendar days to all but the two apparent lowest bidders. After a contract is awarded to the lowest responsive bidder, the bid deposits of the two apparent lowest bidders are returned.


Bid Results

Bidders who are unable to attend an IFB bid opening may receive a copy of the bid results after the contract is awarded by contacting the CTA FOIA office.


Shipping Charges

Since CTA does not have a traffic department, F.O.B. Destination is the preferred shipping designation. If another shipping method is used, shipping charges must be included in your quotation, bid or proposal.



CTA requires delivery on the date indicated on the specification, contract or release. CTA reserves the right to accept earlier or later delivery and/or partial shipments.



CTA may perform inspections or tests on purchased material prior to its acceptance.

These inspections and tests, which may be defined in contract documents, specifications or drawings, include physical inspection and measurement, material certifications, value analysis and in-service testing.


Payment of Invoices

General Contracts:

Invoices are processed for payment when the Accounts Payable Department is notified by the using department of the delivery, inspection and reception of requested materials or services. You must submit a separate invoice for each order, and the correct purchase order number or release number must be noted on each invoice.


Construction Services:

CTA honors pay requests when the disbursement is authorized by the Contract/Vendor Oversight Section. Approval of the pay request is subject to reconciliation with the contract prices and requires an agreement between the contractor and CTA on the percentage of work completed. The pay request is typically accepted at monthly intervals and must be accompanied by waivers of lien from any subcontractors for payment under a construction contract.

In addition, construction contract pay requests are subject to retention, which is withheld until acceptance of the completed project of the CTA.


Architectural Services:

Since these contracts are awarded on a cost plus fixed fee basis, CTA honors pay requests for reimbursement of the consultant's labor, administrative and direct costs on a monthly basis. The fixed fee portion of the contract is retained until final acceptance of the consultant's services or is paid in part at mutually agreed to milestones in the performance of the contract.

Approval of the pay request is based on CTA's acceptance of the consultant's rates, costs, time committed to CTA's project and work products provided during the billing period.


Accounts Payable:

Invoices are processed by the Accounts Payable department after a project manager approves work authorized by the CTA in a written contract. The CTA strives to process invoices within a thirty-day time frame. However, this goal can be met only when you carefully follow the billing instructions listed below:

  • Each invoice must contain the proper purchase order and release number.
  • The rates and materials/services indicated on the invoice must be the same as those stipulated in the contract.


Invoices should be mailed to the following address:

Accounts Payable Department
567 W. Lake Street,
Chicago, IL 60680-1465

If you have a question about an invoice, you should first contact your designated project manager. Subsequent inquiries should be directed to the Coordinator, Accounts Payable, at 312-664-7200, extension 13419.

Accounts Payable mails out checks twice a week. However, only those invoices for approved, contracted work can be processed for payment. Consequently, you should not begin working until you have in hand an approved, written contract with the CTA. All contract amendments must be authorized in writing before additional work is performed and invoices are paid.


This information is provided to the public as a guideline. If any of the information contained herein is in conflict with the bidding/contract documents, then the bidding/contract documents take precedence. 


Dorval R. Carter, Jr., President
Lester L. Barclay, Chairman

Ellen McCormack, Vice President
Purchasing & Supply Chain:
567 W. Lake Street

567 W. Lake Street

Diversity & Small Business Compliance Dept.
567 W. Lake Street