The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Transit Authority Approves No-Bid Contract for PR Consultant

By Chris Bentley in News on Oct 24, 2011 4:20PM

2011_10_24_RTA.jpg CTA is swimming in red ink. Metra has proposed a fare hike. Pace may see service cuts. And the overarching Regional Transit Authority is rightfully worried about coming up with the $24.6 billion in maintenance and repairs called for in its 2010 annual report.

Then why did RTA approve a no-bid public affairs contract with the consulting firm Hill & Knowlton Inc. for $45,000?

… Hill & Knowlton will provide consulting services for the RTA, “to build on its foundation of priority initiatives by developing innovative ways of reaching budget goals and defining more specific objectives within the priority initiatives.”

The money is admittedly a drop in the bucket, but the no-bid contract for public affairs consulting doesn’t scream belt-tightening.

Before they help the RTA “build up an electronic constituency for transit” on Facebook, maybe Hill & Knowlton should warm up by handling the bad PR from this move.