CTA Approved to Purchase 300 New Clean Diesel Buses

January 11, 2013

The Chicago Transit Board today unanimously approved the purchase of at least 300 new buses as part of CTA’s bus fleet modernization initiative announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool in June 2012.The board approved a contract with Nova Bus that allows for the purchase of at least 300 buses and as many as 450 clean diesel buses that will provide customers with a more comfortable and reliable ride.

“With buses providing more than 60 percent of all rides taken on CTA, continued investment and upkeep of CTA’s bus fleet is critical in keeping the city moving,” said CTA President Claypool. “These new buses will replace approximately 60 percent of CTA’s oldest Nova buses and will ensure the CTA continues to provide safe and reliable service through a modernized fleet. What’s more, by staying ahead of the curve and properly scheduling the gradual replacement of our fleet, CTA is maximizing its previous investments and preventing more costly repairs on aging vehicles in the coming years.”

With a standard useful life of 12 years, the 484 6400-series Nova buses that were purchased by CTA between 2000-2002 will be gradually replaced with the new, standard (40-foot), low-floor, clean diesel buses following delivery of a prototype in December with full-production expected to begin in February 2014.

The new 37-seat buses will feature fare collection equipment for CTA’s new Ventra fare payment system (to launch this summer), LED lighting, multiple security cameras and improved fuel economy. The buses will be in compliance with the latest EPA emissions standards and will meet and exceed all current ADA requirements, including two mobility device securement locations and an all-electric ramp with a decreased slope when deployed for easier access.

The contract was awarded to Nova Bus, a division of Prevost Car, Inc. following a competitive bid process. According to the terms of agreement, CTA will purchase a minimum of 300 buses at an amount not to exceed $148 million (approximately $489,000 per bus plus spare parts and tools), with an option to purchase up to 150 additional buses following Board approval. Funding for the purchase is a combination of mostly federal formula funds and CTA bond proceeds.

The CTA’s plans for an upcoming purchase of up to 150 new articulated (60-foot) clean diesel and hybrid buses, which are also part of the bus fleet modernization plan announced in 2012, will be announced upon completion of the procurement process.

In May, the Board approved the purchase of up to 100 new articulated buses from New Flyer Industries, which began arriving late last year and are being entered into service following CTA inspection and acceptance. These new bus purchases along with the multi-year project of performing mid-life overhauls on 60% of the agency’s existing fleet will result in a modernized bus fleet within the next few years.

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