As the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) prepares its 2011 Budget, CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez identified $53.6 million in management efficiencies designed to help the agency weather the continued economic challenges without adversely impacting the current level and quality of service provided to customers.
Rodriguez directed CTA's departments to streamline costs while maintaining CTA's core mission of providing on-time, clean, safe, courteous and efficient service.
Approximately $36 million of cost savings will be a result of personnel efficiencies. CTA will save approximately $7.2 million in salaries and benefits by eliminating more than 70 positions — including more than a dozen at manager level. A savings of $13.7 million in salaries and benefits will be achieved by delaying hiring for open positions that are deemed necessary, but are not safety related or directly impact service.
Continuing to manage and control overtime is expected to save an additional $5.5 million in next year's budget. In 2011, non-union employees will again forgo wage increases and will be required to take up to 18 unpaid days for an additional savings of $9.7 million.
In addition, CTA will save approximately $17.5 million as departments continue to aggressively streamline operations and reduce expenditures such as fuel, power, materials and contracts in 2011.
CTA also continues to realize savings through the reduction of fuel consumption by its bus fleet. By retiring older buses from its fleet and replacing them with more fuel efficient buses, most recently hybrids, CTA saves approximately $7 million per year in maintenance, parts, and labor costs, including more than $900,000 annually in fuel costs.
By using a long-term, layered fuel hedging strategy, the CTA is now spending $30 million for fuel versus a budgeted amount of $36.5 for the first seven months — resulting in a savings of $6.5 million to date.
"The financial challenges we're experiencing are not exclusive to the CTA," added Rodriguez. "Just like other businesses around the nation, we continue to strive for ways to be fiscally responsible and maintain operations until the economy recovers."