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

Latest News

CTA Providing Incentives for Bus and Rail Workers 11/18/2022

As part of its ongoing efforts to address industry-wide workforce challenges, the CTA will begin to offer financial incentives to attract and retain employees. Read More about CTA Providing Incentives for Bus and Rail Workers

Chicago Transit Authority’s 2023 Budget Holds the Line on Fares, Maintains Bus and Rail Service 11/15/2022

The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) $1.8 billion operating budget that keeps fares at current levels, maintains the agency’s commitment to improving service, and continues important investments to upgrade and modernize the system – was approved by the Chicago Transit Board. Read More about Chicago Transit Authority’s 2023 Budget Holds the Line on Fares, Maintains Bus and Rail Service

CTA Partners with City Agency to Serve Unsheltered Riders and Those with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Challenges 11/15/2022

As part of its continued efforts to provide a welcoming environment for all customers, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today entered into an agreement with the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) for additional outreach and support services to be provided to riders who are unsheltered, as well as those grappling with mental health and substance abuse. Read More about CTA Partners with City Agency to Serve Unsheltered Riders and Those with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Challenges

Latest ‘Meeting the Moment’ Action Plan Scorecard Reflects Improved Rail Service 11/10/2022

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today issued its latest monthly scorecard tracking the progress the agency is making on initiatives introduced in support of its “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan. The enhanced scorecard shows continued progress in many areas including rail and bus service, and also reflects the need for more work in other areas. Read More about Latest ‘Meeting the Moment’ Action Plan Scorecard Reflects Improved Rail Service

Join the Team that Moves Chicago! CTA Seeks to Hire Bus Operators and Bus Mechanics 11/09/2022

Take the first step towards establishing a career in transportation by attending the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Career Fair next Friday at Olive Harvey College. The CTA is now seeking applicants for Bus Operator and Bus Mechanic positions, which offer competitive pay – starting hourly wages for Bus Operators is $24.63 and Bus Mechanic is $31.35 – as well as excellent health benefits, pension, and opportunities for advancement. Read More about Join the Team that Moves Chicago! CTA Seeks to Hire Bus Operators and Bus Mechanics

New Rail Schedules Start Sunday, October 23 10/21/2022

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will introduce new weekday and weekend schedules next week for rail lines across the system that better align with CTA’s current available workforce. This effort aims to address customer concerns around long wait times and inconsistent rail service. These changes are the latest in a series of initiatives introduced in support of the Meeting the Moment: Transforming CTA’s Post-Pandemic Future Action Plan. Read More about New Rail Schedules Start Sunday, October 23

Proposed 2023 CTA Budget Holds the Line of Fares, Continues Service Improvements to Meet Growing Ridership 10/20/2022

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today proposed a $1.8 billion operating budget that keeps fares at current levels, maintains the agency’s commitment to improving service, and continues important investments to upgrade and modernize the system. Read More about Proposed 2023 CTA Budget Holds the Line of Fares, Continues Service Improvements to Meet Growing Ridership

CTA Progress Report, More Than 80% of ‘Refresh & Renew’ Rail Station Improvements Complete for 2022 10/18/2022

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has completed more than 80% of the work outlined for nearly 30 rail stations scheduled to receive extensive improvements, and more than 90 stations slated to receive painting and lighting improvements this year – all as part of the agency’s cyclical station and facility maintenance program Refresh & Renew. Read More about CTA Progress Report, More Than 80% of ‘Refresh & Renew’ Rail Station Improvements Complete for 2022

CTA Issues Scorecard to Track Progress of Measures Deployed Under its ‘Meeting the Moment’ Action Plan 10/17/2022

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) introduced a new monthly scorecard to help track the progress the agency is making on initiatives introduced in support of the five guiding pillars of the “Meeting the Moment” Action Plan. Read More about CTA Issues Scorecard to Track Progress of Measures Deployed Under its ‘Meeting the Moment’ Action Plan

CTA Seeks to Partner with City Agency for Services to Unsheltered Riders and Those with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Challenges 10/14/2022

As part of its continuing efforts to provide a welcoming environment for all customers, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is seeking to partner with the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) to provide outreach and support for riders who are unsheltered, as well as those grappling with mental health and substance abuse. Read More about CTA Seeks to Partner with City Agency for Services to Unsheltered Riders and Those with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Challenges

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