CTA to require employees receive COVID-19 vaccination

Sept. 7, 2021
CTA says the requirement to be vaccinated is needed to continue safely serving the Chicago area with essential services.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) employees have until Oct. 25, 2021, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 the authority said on Friday.

CTA joins a growing list of Canadian and U.S. transit providers that will require employees be fully vaccinated against the virus and the news follows the city of Chicago requiring employees be vaccinated by Oct. 15.

Employees who do not provide proof of their vaccination status by Oct. 25 “will face discipline in accordance with the CTA disciplinary guidelines.” CTA says employees can be approved for a health or religious exemption if proper documentation is provided by Oct. 25.  

CTA worked closely with the city, Chicago Department of Public Health and Capsule (a pharmacy) to launch vaccinations at various CTA work locations starting in late February. While CTA does not currently track employee vaccination status, it says it will seek an accurate count of employee vaccinations as it moves forward with the vaccination mandate.

According to the Illinois Department of Health, 55 percent of Chicago’s population is fully vaccinated. The entire state of Illinois is rated as high transmission risk with each county producing a seven-day total new cases per 100,000 greater than 100. Although Cook County, where Chicago is located, had the second lowest in the state at 150.71 cases per 100,000.

“From the onset of the pandemic, the CTA has been an essential service provider for the city of Chicago, and our number one priority has been and always will be the health and well-being of our employees and customers,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “In order for us to continue safely serving the Chicago area, it is now time for the remainder of our workforce to join the nearly 200 million Americans who are fully-vaccinated to help fight off these variants and protect our loved ones and others who cannot be vaccinated.”

CTA’s nearly 11,000 employees will join their transit peers working for New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority employees in the U.S., as well as Metrolinx and Toronto Transit Commission employees in Canada, in the requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.