Summer has arrived in Chicago and the Chicago Transit Authority is providing its customers with a cooler way of getting around. With the addition of new air conditioned buses as well as air conditioning upgrades on some older buses, 89 percent of the CTA's bus fleet is equipped to provide cool, comfortable rides this summer.
The new accessible Nova buses that went into service in 2001 are equipped with air conditioning and are replacing older non-air conditioned buses. More new, air conditioned buses are on order and will be delivered over the next year. Since 2000, the CTA has purchased 710 new buses, of which 368 have been delivered. Of the remaining buses on order, 226 are 60-foot long, low-floor articulated buses that can accommodate more customers than regular 40-foot buses.
In addition, last summer the CTA retrofitted older buses to add air conditioning.
CTA President Frank Kruesi said, "The CTA is well on its way toward having 100 percent of its bus fleet air conditioned by year-end 2003. We have come a long way since the summer of 2000, when just 49 percent of our buses were air conditioned. We hope by increasing the number of accessible buses and providing a more comfortable ride more customers will be encouraged to take public transit as we continually work to provide service that is on-time, clean, safe and friendly."
CTA customers will experience a more comfortable ride on the system's seven rail lines as well. All current CTA rail cars are equipped with air conditioning and have undergone a pre-season summer inspection. The 2200-series older model cars had existing air conditioning systems upgraded with increased system cooling capacity and airflow last summer. These cars primarily serve the Blue Line. Additionally, 536 of the 2600-series cars serving the Blue, Red and Purple Lines have returned to service with air conditioning upgrades. The upgrades were part of a midlife overhaul that is expected to add 15 years to their service life. All 596 of these cars should be completed and back in service by late fall of this year.
Chicago Transit Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett said, "These improvements to our bus and rail fleets are the result of major capital investments paying off for our customers. These investments help us offer our customers an enhanced level of service."
If customers are on a rail car without working air conditioning, they should note the car number and notify the Rapid Transit Operator or Customer Assistant. Customers can also call 1-888-YOUR-CTA with the car number to report malfunctioning air conditioning.
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