As part of the Chicago Transit Authority’s continuing efforts to streamline management and reduce administrative costs, the Chicago Transit Board on Sept. 11 approved elimination of 149 positions, providing an estimated net savings of $13 million annually.
Some of the reductions are related to the implementation of the new Ventra fare-payment system and the discontinuation of the existing fare system. As Ventra is fully implemented through the end of 2013, many positions related to fare payment and collection are no longer needed. The majority of eliminated positions reflect a broader reorganization of roles, consolidations of duties, and eliminations of redundant functions throughout the agency.
None of the positions are safety-related or affect service, and none are customer-facing.
“These changes are a continuation of our efforts over the past two years to create an efficient and cost-effective organization,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “By reorganizing and streamlining, we gain immediate savings while maintaining the current level and quality of service provided to customers.”
In a similar action in late 2011, the CTA eliminated 200 unnecessary and duplicative positions, including senior-level management jobs.
Since coming to the CTA in 2011, Claypool has focused on streamlining operations and ensuring efficient business practices. Other examples include the introduction of a modern supply-chain system that will save the agency millions; more effective management of absenteeism costs, a $10 million annual savings; and implementation of a monthly performance metrics review for bus and rail operations, maintenance and construction.
Forty of the 149 abolished positions are union positions, and each union worker will be given the opportunity to apply for other positions or will be assigned to another position per union “bumping” rights. Forty-five of the abolished positions are currently vacant.