December 2008

Civic Consulting Alliance


Transit in ChicagoLast week, ridership on the Chicago Transit Authority surpassed 500 million, the highest level in over 15 years. Even with gas prices easing, ridership remains strong, and growth (5.5% in 2008) is outpacing all but one of the other top 10 U.S. transit agencies, on both a percentage and absolute basis.

Over the past year and a half, 11 Alliance partners have joined forces with us and the CTA to improve service and help deliver this phenomenal growth:

  • Alvarez & Marsal identified improvements for the technology department

  • Bain and Company, Booth School of Business, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and the University of Michigan supported the CTA's program to eliminate bus bunching

  • Booz & Company helped institute the agency-wide performance management system

  • Deloitte Consulting identified requirements, characteristics, and costs of "the rail of the future"

  • Huron Consulting developed a process to reduce the most common rail delays

  • IDEO created simple guidelines for more focused customer communications 

  • Katzenbach Partners led an effort to improve the cleanliness of buses

  • McKinsey & Company created a program for lean bus maintenance, developed strategic pricing recommendations, and supported an operational turnaround effort
Chicago's Climate Action Plan states a goal of increasing transit ridership by 30%. We share that goal, and there is still plenty to do to meet it. In 2009, the Alliance and our partners will continue to support improved operations and long-term strategic initiatives to increase ridership at the CTA. We will also pursue new initiatives to improve the speed and consistency of the rail system and help bus drivers provide better customer service.
Thank you, and congratulations, to all of our partners who have contributed to this significant undertaking.


Brian Fabes
Brian Fabes
Civic Consulting Alliance
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Since the beginning of FY09, the following firms have contributed in-kind support to Alliance initiatives across Chicago:
Huron Consulting
Leo Burnett
Katzenbach Partners LLC
Mayer Brown
Sidley Austin LLP
Since the beginning of FY09, the following funders have supported our work:
Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Boeing Company
Fry Foundation
Joyce Foundation 
The Searle Funds at the  
    Chicago Community Trust