CTA unveils reforms to better manage parts, materials

On Monday, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Forrest Claypool unveiled a plan to improve the agency’s processes for managing parts and materials in order to reduce costs, increase oversight and improve operations.

Claypool, who made the announcement during an appearance at CTA’s central warehouse on Goose Island, underscored $70 million in old parts and supplies that have sat unused for many years, and laid out a plan to more effectively manage the purchase of items needed to maintain and repair CTA trains, buses and facilities.

The reforms include more stringent reviews of large or non-routine orders, as well as steps to implement an electronic bar-coding system to better track items. In addition, CTA will solicit the services of qualified companies to provide market expertise and industry best practices to supply-chain functions, agency officials said in a prepared statement.

“These steps will improve operations, reduce costs, avoid building up new obsolete inventories, and increase our ability to plan and forecast future needs,” Claypool said.

The CTA also plans to hire an auction firm to sell unused inventory, which agency officials hope will help raise money for infrastructure improvements.

Of the more than $70 million in current CTA parts and materials, about 47 percent has not been used or moved in the past 24 months, Claypool said.

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