CTA to Purchase 25 Brand New Buses as Part of Mayor Emanuel’s CTA Bus Modernization Efforts

October 11, 2017

Latest purchase brings the total number of new buses purchased since 2012 to 550; customers get more comfortable ride and more reliable service  

As part of ongoing efforts to improve bus service for customers, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced plans to purchase 25 new, 40-foot, clean diesel buses – bringing the total number of new buses purchased by CTA to more than 500 as part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s CTA Bus Modernization program.

“The CTA is the hub of Chicago’s world-class transit systems,” Mayor Emanuel said. "These buses will ensure the millions of Chicago residents who rely on CTA every day have a more modern, more reliable and more comfortable way to get around the city."

Since 2012, the CTA has acquired an almost entirely new bus fleet, providing customers with safe, reliable and more comfortable transportation. Between new bus purchases and major overhauls of buses currently in CTA’s fleet that extend their lifespan, nearly all -- 95 percent -- of CTA’s bus fleet will be new or like new.

“In a short time, CTA has made tremendous progress in modernizing its bus and rail fleets to provide Chicagoans and visitors to the city with more reliable and comfortable transit service,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “By purchasing more buses, we will be able to retire old buses that have served passengers well, but are beyond their useful life.”

The Chicago Transit Board today approved the $14 million purchase of 25 buses from Nova Bus, exercising the final option of a new bus manufacturing contract awarded to Nova in 2013. In all, CTA has purchased 450 new buses from Nova, and has put 425 of those buses on the streets into service.

25 new buses will be the same as those recently purchased from Nova Bus. Shown here is one of the 7900-series buses.

CTA’s bus modernization efforts to date include:

550 new busses

  • 450 from Nova Bus
  • 100 articulated (60-foot) buses from New Flyer in 2012, under a contract held by King County Metro, Seattle’s transit agency


More than 1,200 overhauled buses

  • 1,030 standard-size (40-foot) buses, completed in 2015
  • 208 articulated (60-foot buses), under way
  • Overhauls include replacing major operational parts, which extend lifespans


All-electric buses

  • Two buses introduced in 2014
  • CTA will purchase an additional 20-30 all-electric buses in 2018


The new buses will feature LED lighting, multiple security cameras, improved fuel economy and seating manufactured by Chicago-based Freedman Seating Company. The clean diesel buses, which are equipped with advanced technologies that help reduce harmful emissions, will also be in compliance with the latest Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards. The buses will also be fully accessible to customers with disabilities, including two locations on each bus to secure mobility devices and a boarding ramp with a decreased slope when deployed for easier access. The first of the 25 buses is expected to arrive in Chicago in late 2018.

Total value of the contract for the purchase of the 450 buses plus spare parts and tools is approximately $234 million. A combination of mostly federal formula funds and CTA bond proceeds are being used to fund this purchase.

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