The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) board approved a contract that will allow eight Small Business Enterprise (SBE) firms to work as General Engineering Consultants (GEC), providing expertise on a number of technical services for CTA projects.
The $20 million initiative is the first time that CTA will set aside opportunities for SBEs to work directly as prime contractors for engineering services, instead of serving as a subcontractor to a larger firm.
The eight SBE firms selected by the board will provide expertise in the categories of surveying, geotechnical engineering and architecture, and work to support a wide variety of projects under CTA’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The firms include:
- Surveying: American Surveying & Engineering P.C.; Atlas Engineering Group Ltd.; and The Roderick Group Inc. dba Ardmore Roderick.
- Geotechnical engineering: Design Consulting Engineers Inc., and GSG Consultants Inc.
- Architecture: Altus Works Inc.; Muller & Muller Ltd.; and Studio ARQ LLC.
Funded via CTA’s Capital Fund, the SBE contract will also utilize funding from the Federal Transit Administration, the Regional Transportation Authority, and the Illinois Department of Transportation. During the five-year contract period, each of the SBEs will perform small projects less than or equal to $500,000 on a task order basis, as needed.
The SBE contract represents the latest effort by CTA to further engage the communities it serves. Over the last two years, CTA has introduced several new programs and initiatives to promote inclusion and provide opportunities previously unavailable to contractors and workers. These include:
- Construction Management Services Program (CMS): The program helps small and minority-owned businesses compete for construction management opportunities. The program includes a selected pool of consultants that work with the CTA frequently, guaranteeing an experienced pool of potential vendors who will compete for the work.
- Mentor-Protégé Program: CTA asks prime contractors, who serve as mentors to potential subcontractors, to choose three categories where they will assist small and minority-owned businesses with capacity and capability.
- One-on-One Consultations: CTA provides individual consultations for firms that are interested in doing business on a CTA project and are seeking to be certified as a small or minority-owned business.