New employees critical in filling recent staffing shortages and helping improve service
As part of ongoing efforts to address workforce challenges and improve service throughout the system, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the addition of more than 160 new employees to help fill critical positions in Bus Operations, Bus Maintenance and Rail Station Management.
Among those who recently graduated were a total of 133 new Bus Operators, who either recently started or will enter service this week, after having completed extensive and comprehensive training in all facets of operations, safety, troubleshooting, customer communications and more.
“We remain committed to improving our services, which is why over the last year we’ve been pulling out all the stops to remain competitive and welcome these new bus operators, mechanics and rail station personnel – who play a critical role not just here at CTA, but in ensuring the City of Chicago keeps moving,” said CTA President, Dorval R. Carter, Jr., “We recognize there are a lot of opportunities out there, but few organizations are offering the immediate and long-term benefits that CTA has to offer. We look forward to welcoming even more new employees in the coming months thanks to our ongoing, intense recruiting efforts.”
Like all businesses, especially those in the public transit industry, the CTA has faced unprecedented challenges in recruiting bus operators during the global pandemic. Operator shortages have been a critical factor behind ongoing service challenges—which have lead to longer wait times for a bus or train.
Throughout the pandemic, CTA has continued to hire and train bus operators. Following a series of multi-faceted recruitment marketing campaigns, the CTA has recently announced new starting wages, along with new hiring and retention bonuses in an effort to remain competitive and attract top talent. These new measures are above and beyond CTA’s excellent healthcare and pension benefits, paid training (including which includes CDL training and licensing), as well as offering locally based career growth opportunities in the transportation industry.
The CTA also collaborated with its unions to make first-of-their-kind adjustments to existing work rules, to help make CTA a more competitive employer in a high-demand industry. Previously, bus operators would begin their careers at the CTA in part-time positions and work their way up to full-time positions, which often took years. However, for the first time ever, this year’s new hires start immediately in full-time bus operator positions, a change CTA sought in the most recent contract with the bus driver’s union.
The CTA continues to have a wide variety of opportunities available from entry-level positions to management positions across all areas of the agency, including operations, trades (e.g., machinists, electricians, mechanics and more), maintenance and administrative. For a complete list of all available positions, please visit transitchicago.com/careers.