John Gates, Jr. will announce Wednesday that he plans to step-down as head of the notorious Regional Transit Authority (RTA). Gates is a Republican who was appointed to the post by former mayor Richard M. Daley and has held the position for four years.

Gates cites his private-sector commitments and his family as the reasoning for not running for re-election. Gates is chairman and CEO PortaeCo LLC, a private investment company, and was the founder and CEO of CenterPoint Properties Trust. Gates is also on the executive board at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Gates’ announcement comes not long after Governor Pat Quinn’s announcement to implement a Mass Transit Task Force to investigate ways to reform and improve the transit system. While Gates will not be involved in the reformation, he brings up an important point: “Although (the RTA) has the responsibility, it doesn’t have the authority to compel service boards (CTA, Metra, Pace) to work more closely together.” An RTA study published last fall suggested combining the four transit boards into a unified agency, avoiding the rivalry often present between Metra, Pace, and CTA.


The various Chicagoland area transit providers are still up against a $32 billion backlog over the next ten years.

Source: Chicago Tribune