Mayor Daley, CTA Officials Welcome New Low-Emission Bus

February 14, 2006

First of 265 Goes into Service Today

Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Transit Authority officials today welcomed the first of 265 new low-emissions buses to the CTA fleet.

The 40-foot, low-floor, accessible and air-conditioned buses will further improve service and provide increased environmental benefits as a result of an engine that produces 60 percent fewer emissions than the 1991 5300-series Flxible buses they replace.

?The CTA ? like every department of City government and all our sister agencies ? is committed to preserving our environment," Daley said at a news conference at a CTA facility at 2600 W. Pershing Road. "By protecting the environment we improve public health; we save money on energy costs; we beautify the city; and we enhance the quality of life, which helps attract new residents and employers."

?I urge residents of the Chicago area to get out of their cars and use the CTA, whenever possible," the Mayor continued. "It's easier on your pocketbook and your nerves ? and better for the environment, as well."

?Upgrading our fleet with new bus purchases ? 700 new buses since 2000 ? is one of the key reasons why CTA continues to experience increases in ridership," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?And upgrades are not just good for customers, but their environmental value is good for the air quality of the entire region. The annual emissions levels of the fleet will be reduced by 203 tons?or 10 percent, once the delivery of this order is complete."

?Our region's Congressional delegation and the RTA continue to help secure funds to invest in CTA's capital infrastructure, including these new buses," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?As a result, our customers are seeing improved service and upgraded facilities throughout the CTA system."

The New Flyers will further enhance the overall transit experience for CTA customers. They have new customer amenities such as strap hangers for standing customers and a rear-door easy-touch feature for ease in exiting. A new contour seat will be standard equipment on later deliveries, and will be retrofitted onto the first new buses to arrive.

The new buses have all the amenities of the CTA's current fleet, including air conditioning, security cameras, bike racks, automated announcement systems and wheelchair ramps.

The buses will be phased into the system five to six at a time. Delivery is expected to be completed this fall.

With the addition of more than 700 new buses since 2000 ? and the introduction of particulate filters and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel, among other initiatives ? the CTA has reduced its bus fleets? total annual emissions by 22 percent, or 564 tons, since 1997.

The CTA currently has four hybrid-electric Ford Escapes in its fleet of non-revenue vehicles. These vehicles are used by field personnel to monitor bus route performance, transport materials and travel to maintenance facilities. The CTA also has 24 vans in its non-revenue fleet that are powered by compressed natural gas.

The CTA will continue to monitor the cost efficiency, performance and environmental benefits of advances in hybrid and clean diesel technology as well as other environmentally friendly initiatives.

New Flyer of America, Inc., headquartered in Winnipeg, is the manufacturer of the $95 million order. The buses are being produced at its facility in St. Cloud, Minn. The order includes 20 diesel electric hybrids powered by both diesel engines and electric motors to further reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency. The hybrid buses are scheduled to begin arriving later this year.

The competitively bid contract approved by the Chicago Transit Board in November 2004 is funded with federal formula funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Illinois FIRST bonds from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).

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