CTA TAKES THE NEXT STEP IN MODERNIZING ITS BUS FLEET

October 9, 2002
10/9/02

The Chicago Transit Authority continues to modernize its bus fleet with the purchase of up to 25 CompoBuses. CompoBuses are passenger buses constructed of an innovative, lightweight composite fiberglass material that will be more durable during Chicago winters. The CompoBus purchase will be the CTA's next step in its long-term strategy to upgrade its fleet of trains and buses. Since 2000, the CTA has ordered hundreds of buses including 484 Nova buses, which have been delivered and are in service. The CTA expects to begin receiving new low-floor, articulated buses from North American Bus Industries (NABI), Inc. in 2003. NABI also manufactures the CompoBus.

The $8.6 million contract approved by the Chicago Transit Board at its monthly meeting today is funded by Illinois FIRST, the state's infrastructure program. The CTA will be one of the first transit agencies in the world to evaluate the composite bus in the 45-foot version in an urban setting and expects to begin taking delivery of the CompoBuses in late 2003.

?This is an exciting time for the CTA as we move forward with initiatives to improve our service, facilities, and bus and rail fleets," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett. ?Our customers will benefit from these upgrades and enhancements by experiencing more comfortable rides and efficient service."

?The CompoBus will be a great addition to our improving fleet," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?The combination of a lightweight fiberglass body and a low-emission engine will significantly reduce fuel costs without sacrificing performance throughout the operating life of the vehicle."

The CompoBus technology is similar to that used in hulls for racing and pleasure boats. It features a patented fiberglass composite construction process rather than metal construction. The absence of steel eliminates corrosion on the frame and body of the bus. The lightweight design of the CompoBus extends its brake life and reduces tire wear. The bus also has a layer of fire retardant material that meets national standards.

President Kruesi added, "Thanks to the support of Mayor Richard M. Daley, U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Governor George Ryan and his Illinois FIRST Program, the CTA is moving toward a state of good repair. This helps us attract new customers to public transit while retaining current customers and reaffirms our commitment to provide service that is on-time, clean, safe and friendly."

The 45-foot, low-floor, CompoBuses are air conditioned and accessible to customers with disabilities. Other amenities include digital video surveillance systems, automated voice announcement systems, automatic passenger counters, rear wheel deflectors, bike racks and windows coated with a special material making them resistant to etching.

As the nation's second largest public transit agency, the CTA provides 1.5 million rides a day and takes pride in delivering quality, affordable transit services that link people, jobs and communities.

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