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Pritzker says new leadership needed at CTA

Friday, Apr 19, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Wednesday

* Gov. JB Pritzker held a media availability Thursday night after the House passed his Healthcare Protection Act legislation

Isabel Miller: Governor, do you have confidence in Dorval Carter’s ability to lead the CTA?

Gov. Pritzker: Look, a lot of changes are going to have to take place, there’s no doubt, at CTA. And I think that’s going to take some new leadership, and additional leadership.

It’s something the legislature and I, and of course the city of Chicago, and we’re gonna have to consider the plan that the CTA should have come forward with already, which we haven’t seen, but that may include changing fares and other things that will help us deal with what is clearly going to be a fiscal cliff here. We’re also hoping to see help from the federal government.

Isabel: ‘New leadership’ meaning Dorval Carter should be fired?

Pritzker: I know you all have tried to use the word ‘fired’ here. I think that there needs to be an evolution of leadership in order for us to get where we need to go with CTA.

So, that’s something that will be discussed. As you know, I have appointments at CTA but they’re not a controlling majority. But the people that we appoint, of course, we’ll be working with the others are on the board to evaluate and make changes in management.

The “additional leadership” comment is also interesting. Sounds like the proposed combined regional agency that the transit agencies oppose.

Subscribers were told about this earlier today.

* More…

[Rich Miller contributed to this post.]


  1. - ChicagoVinny - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 8:29 am:

    Putting someone new in charge of the CTA seemed like such a gimme for Johnson to do when he was elected. Alas.

    == proposed combined regional agency that the transit agencies oppose ==

    I’ve lived in cities like Boston that
    does not control the MBTA and it is a disaster. Not in favor of this idea.

  2. - Mark D - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 8:34 am:

    Why is everyone so afraid to call for the firing of one of the least popular people in Chicago?

  3. - Pundent - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 8:42 am:

    So Pritzker throws Carter under the bus?

  4. - blueline - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 8:44 am:

    Dorval is the most hated man in Chicago at the moment. Which is saying something.

  5. - Baseball - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 8:47 am:

    Prtizker needs to grow a pair rather then dancing around the issue. Thats what true leadership looks like. BJ on the otherhand lacks critical thinking skills and is clueless. My 8 year old has better decisioning skills then he does.

  6. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 8:50 am:

    The problem isn’t with a singular person, it is with a poorly designed governance structure where the oversight agency is actually a slave of the service providers.

    If we are going to continue with three separate service providers, then the oversight agency needs to be appointed my people who do not also appoint the service providers.

    Related nugget - the Governor has 3 (minority share) appointments to the CTA but none to RTA, Metra, or Pace, or to CMAP either. Again, makes no sense.

  7. - NIU Grad - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 8:52 am:

    You gotta love that he waited until Mayor Johnson chimed in with an “everything is fine” before saying that a change is needed.

  8. - ChicagoBars - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 8:55 am:

    1) That CTA second chance program only hiring 14% of those in the program feels like it would be a lot bigger scandal if a private charity had results that dismal.

    2) Respectfully submitting that if the Metra/CTA consolidation becomes too big a Xmas tree to get thru the end of session door ILGA could always just expand the CTA board (like they did with McPier last year) to 10 with 5 apiece from both sides and let them pick a President. Much fairer if State is going to have to help with the fiscal cliff to have equal voice.

    Happy Friday everyone (banned punctuation)

  9. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:00 am:

    Pritzker knows that sooner or later the transit agencies are going to need major help from Springfield. He is shaping the battlefield for that. It’s smart, forward looking leadership.

  10. - Chicagonk - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:18 am:

    Hopefully the new CTA head scraps the contract with Monterrey Security.

  11. - AKA60643 - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:28 am:

    Carter needs to be fired. We need people with transit experience (as riders, at the very least). Get it done already!

  12. - Djb - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:28 am:

    I would say that pritzker threw Carter under the bus, but the bus never showed up

  13. - pragmatist - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:31 am:

    47th ward is correct. MBJ is protecting Dorval because he is supported by his budget chair Jason Ervin.

  14. - pragmatist - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:32 am:

    Meant to say 47th ward is correct.
    And MBJ is protecting…

  15. - Time Is Up - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:33 am:

    JBP once again scores a win off of MBJ.

  16. - Homebody - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:35 am:

    Just to be clear, Pritzker is still responsible for half of the CTA Board. He is arguably equally responsible with Johnson. Glad he is saying something, and better late than never. But this was always his problem too, even if he didn’t cause it.

  17. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:41 am:

    Djb for the win. oh there’s probably some political consideration in not outright saying DC has to go. We need to start merger/elimination of government entities and the modern thing to do is start with transit.

  18. - Lincoln Lad - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:53 am:

    Dorval Carter has been paid a lot of money for little to no leadership. Well passed time to move on, the Mayor may be the only one to not realize that.

  19. - Tinman - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 9:54 am:

    The CTA is a mess and it needs new leadership and direction. Saying everything is fine is not only wrong. But shows that he really doesn’t know what’s going on.

  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 10:22 am:

    ===You gotta love that he waited until===

    Nobody has asked him until Isabel.

  21. - CornAl DoGooder - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 10:30 am:

    The CTA is such a shambles, Carter should have been gone long long ago. Hopefully the momentum for his ouster from JB and from alders can finally start the path towards change.

    I dont know who should replace him, but if we pass a law to delegate the choice for leadership of CTA to the State Representative from the 26th district, I am confident that our transit system would be much better off than it is under our current Mayor.

  22. - Sonny - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 10:32 am:

    Dorval gotta go. Funny how things are supposed to be so different under this leadership and we have easily a dozen top Johnson officials who are insulated by comfy clout blankies and insider frens that they have been accumulating for decades.

  23. - Roadrager - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 10:47 am:

    Thinking back to the last administration, how Lori would try running bully pulpit on something, and almost immediately get undercut with her ignorance put on display by Pritzker merely showing actual governance. You’d think the Johnson administration would have learned something from that, but you’d also think they would have learned from a lot of things.

    Meanwhile, Johnson spent the week appointing politically loyal pastors to the CTA and RTA boards. Takes me back to the days of Rauner Tollway board appointee Corey Brooks.

  24. - Loop Lady - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 10:47 am:

    Is it just me, or are the Ervin’s becoming the poster child for poor governance in Chicago?

  25. - Original Rambler - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 10:57 am:

    Thank you Governor for so artfully not saying what you said. Carter must have incriminating photos or something to last this long. And good point about the security contract. Those security guards (or whatever you call them) need to be a lot more active. All they seem to do now is take up space while checking their cell phones.

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 11:18 am:

    I apologize Annonin. I accidentally deleted your comment.

  27. - snowman61 - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 11:21 am:

    You have to give credit to the Gov’s communication team. It seems that the governor is always prepared for press conferences and says the right thing. He is prepared for questions!!
    To bad the Mayor doesn’t take notice as he and his team keeps digging themselves in the hole when and if they answer questions by the press.

  28. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 12:14 pm:

    AKA60643 - the guy has spent his entire career working at the CTA and FTA/USDOT. I think that qualifies as someone with transit experience.

  29. - Original Rambler - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 12:47 pm:

    That makes his performance even less defendable.

  30. - Google Is Your Friend - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 1:20 pm:

    Johnson has to keep Carter around because Carter is the only person in Chicago who is more unpopular than the mayor.

  31. - Phineas - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 3:14 pm:

    A CTA scalp is almost a rite of passage for passing transit funding. Daley held on to Kruesi as long as he could to trade that for more funding. And there’s a perennial conflict between city priorities for schools and transit in Springfield.

    Now that CTU is asking for 9% annual raises, it will be fascinating to see how this Mayor balances those demands. The elected school board debacles don’t give me much confidence.

  32. - Dupage - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 3:31 pm:

    Sadly, one of the worst decisions ever at the CTA was made frivolously at the request of the City. The Mayor said it was suggested that it would look nice if overhead wires were eliminated. So he requested the CTA get rid of their large fleet of electric buses. The electric buses worked well, were cheap to run, cheap to maintain, very dependable, and did not put diesel smoke in the lungs of nearby people. I remember a CTA official saying on the news they could get diesel fuel for about 16 cents a gallon because they buy a huge wholesale quantity and were tax exempt. At the time, diesel at the pump was about 30 cents per gallon. So the CTA board rushed to scrap all the electric buses and cut down the wires, also sold for scrap. A few months later the results of the first oil embargo hit, causing the diesel fuel price to skyrocket. In the years since, hundreds of millions of dollars of extra cost had to be spent on diesel fuel. Worse yet, it has been found that diesel exhaust fumes are much more hazardous to peoples health than previously thought. The CTA board should not be puppets of the city administration.

  33. - Dupage - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 3:40 pm:
    Try again.

  34. - Original Rambler - Friday, Apr 19, 24 @ 3:55 pm:

    The Tribune jumping on the bandwagon calling for his firing…explicitly.

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