Fast and efficient: every major metropolitan transit authority strives to achieve such goals every day through their services to the public. Yet, oftentimes it is hard for these organizations to get their major construction projects off the ground in the same manner due to a lack of good technology.

Totaling roughly $30 billion, the annual investment in transit infrastructure remains one of the more vibrant spots of the construction market these days. As of late, it seems many organizations are reinvesting in project control technology in order to make the most of those funds.

Last week the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) www.transitchicago.com, Chicago, Ill., announced the use of new capital program management software to help it manage its current capital program, valued at $800 million. For an organization as large and diverse as the CTA (it’s the nation’s second largest public infrastructure) the importance of keeping costs under control and errors at a minimum throughout the program is paramount to success. For example, simple contract change orders and submittal reviews could end up very costly if not properly managed.

Therefore, the technology steps in to play a critical role in helping automate key business processes. Along with the aforementioned actions, the technology from e-Builder, www.e-builder.net, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., will also be used by the CTA for cost management and controls, cashflow forecasting, and document management, among others.

One critical aspect to the technology will be in helping manage cross-project executive reporting. Such snapshot views at the progress and control of different areas of the project are critical in helping executives within the CTA view timely and relevant information in the manner they choose.

The CTA is no stranger to the use of Web-based technology. In fact, the public organization was a Constructech Vision Award winner in 2004 for its use of such technology. Now through this new technology, the CTA has expanded such efforts around providing accurate, current information regarding program and project budgets, as well as change orders. Such actions allow it to proactively control costs on its projects and even enable quick and efficient deployment.

This is the latest in the trend of using of Web-based technology for transit projects. Earlier this summer it was announced that Salem-Keizer Transit, www.cherriots.org, Salem, Ore., chose technology from Projectmates, www.projectmates.com, Dallas, Texas, to manage the design and construction of its $8.1 million transit center and park-and-ride scheduled to open in 2012.

As the level of investment in transit projects escalates, so too will the need for more comprehensive control over budgets and costs. More and more, the migration to newer Web-based systems by these organizations looks to be a trend that won’t be slowing down anytime soon.