September 11, 2002


The Chicago Transit Board at its monthly meeting today awarded a contract for the development of a computer-based simulation model of the entire CTA rail system. Once developed, the CTA will use the software to conduct highly detailed studies of rapid transit operating options and enhance planning and development strategies.

?This software will be extremely useful in evaluating the capacity of existing CTA rail service and for planning service expansions," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. "It will also help us maximize the positive impact any contemplated changes in our service might have before we commit the funds to implement them."

CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett said, "The CTA has been a leader in using advanced technology to maintain a high standard of service. It is important for our customers to understand that we are constantly looking for new ways to fulfill our mission to deliver quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities."

A competitive bid process resulted in the selection of Transportation Decision Systems, Inc., of Los Altos, California. The contract is for up to $583,519 for completion of an acceptable software model and training for the CTA personnel who will use it. The CTA will utilize the completed model when studying service improvement options.

The model will be capable of simulating operations on all lines and branches of the CTA rail system at the same time, including train interactions on shared track and on shared junctions and crossings. It will also be able to replicate changes such as temporary single-track operations, line extensions, new or closed stations, reconfigured switching plants and the characteristics of different models of rail cars.

Other rail systems, such as the Toronto Transit Commission, Amtrak and freight railroads throughout the United States use variations of the simulator program. It provides the opportunity to test proposed changes before finalizing any decisions to move ahead with a live operating scenario.

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