Train on Wells Street bridge

Meeting the Moment

Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is the second largest public transit agency in the United States with more than 1,800 buses, 1,400 railcars, 9,000 front line operations staff, and a 2019 weekday ridership base of almost 1.5 million. We serve the City of Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs and we provide more than 80 percent of regional transit rides. CTA is the backbone of Chicago’s and the regional transportation network.

Similar to many industries, public transit was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic as ridership plummeted in March 2020 and commuting patterns changed for the long-term. CTA met this moment by delivering as much service as possible to the essential workers and transit dependent riders of the region throughout the pandemic. As vaccines rolled out and people began to return to a “new normal”, CTA began facing new challenges with a hiring deficit and growing bus and rail operator attrition impacting service delivery.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. CTA, along with several industries, is feeling the continued impacts of this new normal on our workforce and service. We are also impacted by other socio-economic conditions of the region we serve. Particularly, instances of crime and unruly behavior on our system are negatively impacting rider experience.

Meeting the Moment: Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future Action Plan aims to address these issues in the near-term, while also laying the foundation for a long-term transformation of the Agency. Our long-term goal is to align our growing transit network with new mobility patterns and ensure CTA is a first choice of travel for many riders in the region.

This customer-focused action plan is grounded in five key pillars.

  • Deliver reliable and consistent service
  • Enhance safety and security for our riders
  • Improve the customer experience at our facilities
  • Upgrade our digital tools to improve rider communication
  • Invest in our employees

These pillars are central to the CTA rider experience, and will be reinforced by near-term strategic investments, initiatives, and tools. As the Agency rolls out this action plan, our senior leaders will be seeking input from our customers and connecting with riders across the system, and the Agency will be working hard to recruit bus and rail operators to alleviate the workforce shortage. The engagement and roll-out of this plan will also inform a long-term strategic plan to prepare the Agency for success in a post-pandemic world.

PDFMeeting the Moment: Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future

PDFMeeting the Moment presentation slides

"Ask CTA" events

“Ask CTA” events bring CTA managers from various departments to rail stations and bus transfer hubs throughout the system, where customers can ask questions and provide feedback. A Human Resources representative will also be available to provide information on many jobs available at the CTA.

Latest News

New Security Camera Monitors Installed in Customer Service Booths at all CTA Rail Stations 09/26/2022

As part of its continued efforts to enhance the security of riders and its employees, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the completion of work to install new security camera monitors in every Customer Assistant (CA) booth across the system. Read More about New Security Camera Monitors Installed in Customer Service Booths at all CTA Rail Stations

Recent Rail Service Schedule Optimization Providing More Consistent and Reliable Service 09/14/2022

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced that it recently made temporary changes to its rail schedules on select routes intended to provide better, more reliable service throughout the day and throughout the week. Read More about Recent Rail Service Schedule Optimization Providing More Consistent and Reliable Service

CTA Begins Deploying New K-9 Teams on Rail System 09/02/2022

As part of its continued efforts to enhance security of riders and its employees, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the deployment of its newly contracted K-9 teams. Read More about CTA Begins Deploying New K-9 Teams on Rail System

“Ask CTA” Events Off to Strong, Successful Start 08/31/2022

Following the first “Ask CTA” event held yesterday, the results are in, and the program is off to a strong, successful start! The newly launched program is the latest in a series of initiatives rolled out since the agency unveiled its “Meeting the Moment: Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future” Action Plan, earlier this month. Read More about “Ask CTA” Events Off to Strong, Successful Start

“Ask CTA” Program to Foster Engagement with Customers 08/30/2022

Senior CTA managers will be available at stations throughout the system to answer questions, listen to rider feedback, update customers about ongoing improvements, provide info about CTA job opportunities​ Read More about “Ask CTA” Program to Foster Engagement with Customers

CTA Signs Contract for New K-9 Teams to be Deployed Across Rail System 08/24/2022

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced that it has entered into a new agreement for unarmed, K-9 teams to patrol stations across the rail system. Each K-9 team will consist of two, unarmed guards and a canine. This new contract is the latest initiative announced by the CTA since the unveiling of its “Meeting the Moment” action plan and supports the guiding pillar to enhance safety and security of customers and employees. Read More about CTA Signs Contract for New K-9 Teams to be Deployed Across Rail System

CTA Launches Fully Redesigned Bus Tracker Website 08/24/2022

As part of its commitment to improve the customer experience, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the release of a newly designed website for CTA Bus TrackerSM. Today’s upgrade creates a mobile responsive website for CTA’s Bus Tracker, allowing customers to view bus arrival information and buses on route from their mobile devices. It will also provide customers with easier to access bus arrival information and more modern design, while also laying the foundation for CTA to make f​ Read More about CTA Launches Fully Redesigned Bus Tracker Website

CTA Rolls Out New Tactile Bus Stop Sign Pilot 08/23/2022

As part of ongoing efforts to make public transportation easier to navigate for people with disabilities, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced that it has begun the installation of more than 1,300 tactile signs under a pilot designed to make the boarding locations for bus stops easier to identify for riders who are blind or low vision. Read More about CTA Rolls Out New Tactile Bus Stop Sign Pilot

CTA Unveils New, Customer-Focused “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan 08/11/2022

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. today announced a new action plan that will guide the CTA’s ongoing efforts to address the Agency’s most pressing challenges brought on by the pandemic. Plan addresses five key areas of the rider experience: making service more reliable and consistent; enhancing system security; upgrading customer communication technologies; improving the overall experience at facilities, and further investing in transit employees Read More about CTA Unveils New, Customer-Focused “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan

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