CTA Receives $25 Million to Advance its Electric Bus Fleet

June 27, 2023

Federal RAISE funds will be used to equip the 95th Street Terminal with charging and support equipment for electric buses

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) was awarded $25 million by the Department of Transportation’s RAISE Discretionary Grant Program, to be used to further electric bus operation expansion at the 95th Street/Dan Ryan Terminal.

"Thank you to the Biden-Harris Administration for this transformational grant that will help us advance our electric bus operation on the South Side and improve service to a long-underserved region of our city," said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. "Investments like this are critical to our transit system as they aid in the reduction of carbon emissions in disinvested communities and ultimately improve the quality of life and health for working people and families of the South Side."

The grant funds will, in part, be allocated to electrical upgrades at the 95th Street rail power substation to support the equipment. Six pantograph chargers will be installed to support electric bus service at 95th Street, which serves 16 bus routes and roughly 26,000 bus riders each weekday.

This project will also provide the infrastructure to support an electric bike station.

“We laid out an intentional pathway to fully electrifying our fleet in the Charging Forward plan by first prioritizing communities historically overburdened by air quality issues for early, equitable electric bus deployment,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This grant reinforces the Biden-Harris’s Administration’s commitment to improving safety and equity through investments in public transit.”

Building upon a decade of leading an industry shift toward bus electrification, the CTA unveiled “Charging Forward: CTA Bus Electrification Planning Report” in February 2022 as a blueprint for the agency’s adoption of a full electric bus fleet and supporting operational infrastructure over the next two decades. Converting a bus fleet of more than 1,800 vehicles not only requires the new vehicles but charging stations and significant electrical power upgrades.

CTA currently has 25 electric buses in its fleet and three of its seven existing bus garages are equipped with charging facilities for electric buses, with plans to purchase additional vehicles and expand to additional routes and garages in the coming years.

The CTA introduced electric bus service in May to the #63 63rd route, on Chicago’s South Side. The first of the CTA’s electric Proterra 600-Series, began running on the #66 Chicago route -- the first step in a larger plan to electrify all bus service along Chicago Avenue. To accommodate, the CTA added enroute chargers at Navy Pier and plans to add more chargers as electric routes are added.

Today’s announcement marks the latest major federal funding the CTA has received. The CTA received $29 million in grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for adding fully accessible electric buses, as well as bus facility improvements for the new vehicles.

The Biden-Harris RAISE grant is intended for transportation projects that significantly impact and improve safety in underserved communities.

For more information, or to view the Charging Forward: CTA Bus Electrification Planning Report, please visit: transitchicago.com/electricbus/. 

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