Logo on side of train

Governance & Administration

Organizational Overview

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is an independent governmental agency created by the Metropolitan Transit Authority Act (70-ILCS-3605).

CTA began operating on Oct. 1, 1947, after it acquired the properties of the Chicago Rapid Transit Company and the Chicago Surface Lines. On Oct. 1, 1952, CTA became the predominant operator of Chicago transit when it purchased the Chicago Motor Coach system.


Governance & Oversight

The governing arm of CTA is the Chicago Transit Board. Lester L. Barclay serves as Chairman. The board consists of seven members, four appointed by the Mayor of Chicago and three by the Governor of Illinois.

The Mayor's appointees are subject to the approval of the Governor and the Chicago City Council; the Governor's appointees are subject to the approval of the Mayor and the Illinois State Senate. CTA's day-to-day operations are directed by Dorval R. Carter, Jr., President.

CTA generates revenue from both farebox collections and non-farebox revenues, and also receives supplemental funding for operating expenses from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).

The RTA was established in 1974 to oversee local transportation operators in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area. Illinois state law requires the three RTA service boards—CTA, Metra (the suburban rail system) and Pace (the suburban bus system) to recover collectively at least 50 percent of operating costs from farebox and other system revenues.

CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. 

Photo of CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr.

As President of the CTA, Dorval R. Carter, Jr. oversees more than 10,000 employees and helps ensure that everyone works together in adhering to the agency's mission of delivering quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities.

Appointed as CTA President in 2015, Mr. Carter has led the way for unprecedented investment in CTA. Under Mayors Rahm Emanuel and Lori Lightfoot, Mr. Carter has overseen more than $8 billion of projects completed, begun or announced—including the largest construction project in CTA history (the Red and Purple Modernization), the largest railcar order in the agency’s history, and the reconstruction/rehabilitation of more than 40 rail stations.

Prior to becoming CTA President, Mr. Carter served as the Acting Chief of Staff to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, managing a department with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime and surface transportation. 

Prior to that, Mr. Carter served as Acting Deputy Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as well as FTA’s Chief Counsel, where he provided support to the Department of Transportation’s General Counsel on legal matters concerning the federal transit program.

Mr. Carter is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the 2019 Motorola Foundation Excellence in Public Service Award from the Civic Federation of Chicago; the Transportation Research Board’s 2021 Thomas B. Deen Distinguished Lectureship; and most recently the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) 2021 Outstanding Public Transportation Manager Award, the same year the CTA was named APTA’s Outstanding Public Transportation System.

A graduate of Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where he is Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Carter also holds a Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., as well as the Illinois and Federal bar associations.

Organizational Chart

CTA Admin Organization Chart
PDF View Administrative Org. Chart (.pdf)


See also

System status snapshot
‘L’ route status
Red Line
Normal Service
Blue Line
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Brown Line
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Green Line
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Orange Line
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Pink Line
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Purple Line
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Yellow Line
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Bus routes w/alerts
Elevator alerts