CTA Readies for the Largest Bus Overhaul Project in Agency History

June 12, 2013

Board approves $1.7M contract for purchase of new bus interior lighting kits

The Chicago Transit Board today approved the purchase of new, longer-lasting and more environmentally friendly bus interior lighting as part of the CTA’s major bus purchase and overhaul plan announced last year by Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool. The bus initiative will provide CTA customers with an almost entirely new bus fleet within the next few years.

The Board awarded a $1.7 million lighting contract to Specialty Manufacturing Inc. following a competitive, low-bid process. The new LED lighting will replace existing fluorescent and LED interior lights in the more than 1,000 buses that are being overhauled.  The new LED lights are more reliable, safer for the environment, will remain brighter longer and are less expensive.

The CTA bus modernization program announced last year includes an overhaul of 1,030 buses currently in CTA’s fleet that are at the “mid-life” stage to make them like new, in addition to the purchase of as many as 550 new buses, all of which will provide a modern, reliable and comfortable bus fleet to CTA customers.

Late last year, the CTA awarded contracts to Cummins NPower, LLC and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC with a combined value of $185 million to perform bus overhauls, which will include rebuilding engines, transmissions, suspensions, heating and air-conditioning systems, exterior repair and repainting. The lighting work would be performed as part of the overhauls, which have begun in recent weeks and are expected to continue through spring 2015.

“A year ago, Mayor Emanuel and I outlined plans to modernize the entire CTA bus fleet and we’ve made significant progress,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The CTA’s bus fleet now features 100 new articulated buses that were delivered within the last year. Earlier this year the Board awarded a contract for the purchase of as many as 450 new standard, 40-foot buses. And, we’ve begun the necessary work on the biggest component of that plan – overhauling more than half of our bus fleet.”

Buses provide 58 percent of all rides taken on the CTA each year, serving Chicago and 35 surrounding suburbs. The CTA provided more than 314 million bus rides in 2012.

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