CTA Exercises Option for More Buses

May 10, 2006

The Chicago Transit Board today approved the purchase of an additional 185 low-emission buses, further upgrading the Chicago Transit Authority bus fleet and continuing the reduction of fleet emissions levels. Since 2000, CTA has purchased more than 700 new buses to replace aging buses in its fleet, and with today's approval, has another 449 buses on order. New buses improve the reliability and efficiency of CTA's bus fleet.

The $63.4 million purchase is the first of four options for additional buses under an existing contract with New Flyer of America, Inc. originally executed in November 2005. CTA began taking delivery of the 265-bus base order in February. The additional 185 buses will begin arriving at the CTA by the end of the year following completion of the base order. Once in place, the new buses will complete the Chicago Transit Authority's replacement of 15-year-old Flxible buses purchased in 1991. Each New Flyer bus produces 60 percent fewer emissions than the 1991 bus it replaces.

?We are pleased to be able to exercise this first option for more new buses," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?We continue to work to upgrade our fleet replacing older buses with new lower emission models, bringing a higher quality transit experience to our customers and cleaner air to the region."

?Continued investment in CTA's fleet and infrastructure helps CTA to more effectively meet customer demand and 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 new buses."

The CTA's current order for 265 New Flyer buses includes 20 diesel electric hybrids powered by both diesel engines and electric motors to further reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency. To date, CTA has received 51 New Flyer buses from the first order.

In addition to being low-floor and accessible, the New Flyers feature new amenities such as strap hangers for standing customers, a rear door easy-touch feature for ease in exiting, and a new seat design that is expected to provide increased comfort. Amenities that are part of the existing fleet, such as surveillance cameras, bike racks, next stop announcement system and automatic passenger counters also are included.

The existing contract was competitively bid. The Option 1 order is funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Illinois FIRST bonds from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).

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