Regional Transportation Authority



As chairman of the RTA Board of Directors, I believe Illinois legislators should seriously consider amending the RTA Act to assure the RTA and all the agencies can best serve the system’s two million riders.  Please find below memoranda outlining specific ideas I have in this regard.  It is my hope that these ideas will serve as a roadmap for a more  effective and transparent transit system, which appropriately uses taxpayer funds.  I will continue to share my thoughts on ways to reform and improve the region’s transit system and post this information on the RTA website.  I hope you will find it helpful and informative.   If you have any questions or comments regarding these proposals, please feel free to send me an email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .    

Thank you so much for your time.

John S. Gates, Jr.
Chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority


Chairman’s Legislative Reform Ideas

  • RTA Oversight and Responsibility
    We can improve oversight and foster integrity in our work by removing conflicts of interest, making it easier to remove board members, instituting minimum board member qualifications, creating a clearer chain of command, regulating severance packages, and expanding transparency. These basic steps will begin to restore public trust in our agencies. Read more...RTA Oversight and Responsibility
  • Transit Capital Investments Will Utilize Needs Based Prioritization
    It’s an unfortunate reality that the necessary funds to maintain and improve our transit systems are not always available. However, by prioritizing the most important projects and consolidating resources, we can keep public transportation running as smoothly as possible. When determining budgets, Service Boards should be required to consider prioritization objectives as determined by previous reviews. Read more... Transit Capital Investment will Utilize Needs Based Prioritzation
  • Lobbyists and Public Transit Agencies
    While most other government offices require lobbyists to register and disclose their activities, public transit offices do not. In order to better protect taxpayers and promote transparency, the General Assembly should approve legislation that would extend rules for lobbying to the RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace. Read more...Lobbyists and the Public Transit Agencies
  • Mass Transit Planning and Regional Goals
    Consolidating the RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace’s planners and CMAP’s mass-transit planners into a single department within an existing agency will achieve efficiencies to ensure that plans are being developed to optimize regional mobility. Read more... Mass Transit Planning and Regional Goals
  • Consistency in the Procurement Process
    The procurement procedure should be more consistent in order to make the procurement process easier on those doing business with our agencies as well as to use economies of scale to save money. Often, qualified vendors choose not to bid on projects due to a complicated system with each Service Board having different regulations and procedures. Standardizing some of these operations will help to enhance DBE outreach and increase the opportunities for joint purchasing. Read more... Consistency in the Procurement Process
  • Centralized and Expanded Bonding Authority
    In continuing to discuss legislative changes that can be implemented to improve the functioning of the RTA and the Service Boards, this memo will focus on the region’s borrowing and will outline the RTA’s need for additional short-term and long-term borrowing authority. Additionally, the memo will discuss the region’s capital needs and the importance of the RTA as the centralized bond issuer for each of the Service Boards. Read more...Centralized and Expanded Bonding Authority

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