CTA Continues Fleet Improvement with New Bus Purchase

September 14, 2005

CTA Continues Fleet Improvement with New Bus Purchase

The Chicago Transit Board approved a $17.2 million contract today for the purchase of up to 125 new buses to be delivered in late 2006. The new 30-foot buses are shorter and narrower than the standard 40-foot buses in CTA's fleet and will be placed on routes where narrow streets or lower peak ridership call for smaller vehicles.

While awaiting the purchase and manufacture of these new buses, earlier this year CTA purchased 13 narrow, accessible buses previously owned by Pace to make the routes that operate along narrow streets in Hyde Park accessible. These buses were put into service in May, making all 150 CTA bus routes fully accessible to people with disabilities.

"Upgrading the bus fleet with these slightly smaller buses will allow CTA to better allocate its resources throughout the service area, much like having the right tool for the job," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?New buses not only improve the reliability of service, but having a smaller sized bus in the fleet will allow us to better match service with ridership and realize cost efficiencies that come from operating a smaller vehicle."

Equipped with low emission engines, the low floor, air conditioned, accessible buses will have the same amenities that are part of CTA's existing bus fleet, including surveillance cameras, bike racks, next stop announcement system and automatic passenger counters that provide route usage information to further improve schedules.

"Continued investment in CTA's fleet and infrastructure helps CTA to more effectively meet customer demand and helps to attract new customers to public transit as well," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?We are grateful to our region's Congressional delegation, which has shown remarkable bipartisan cooperation in successfully securing capital funds to continue investment in CTA's infrastructure, including the purchase of accessible buses."

The bus purchase is part of CTA's ongoing effort to upgrade its fleet. Since 2000, the CTA has ordered 484 40-foot, low floor buses from Nova Bus; 226 low floor, articulated buses from North American Bus Industries, Inc.; and 265 40-foot, low floor buses from New Flyer of America, Inc.

The competitively bid contract with Optima Bus Corporation of Wichita, Kansas, calls for a base order of up to 50 buses. Funding has been provided through a grant from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). The contract provides an option for an additional 75 buses.

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