Summer has finally arrived in Chicago and the Chicago Transit Authority is helping to provide 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, 68 percent of the CTA's fleet is equipped to provide more comfortable rides this summer. That's an improvement of 36 percent over last summer.
About 177 new accessible Nova buses that went into service earlier this year are equipped with air conditioning and are replacing older non-air conditioned buses. The entire order of 469 Nova buses should be in service by early 2002.
In addition, the CTA is upgrading 474 1991 RTS model TMC lift buses to add air conditioning. More than half (323) of the TMC buses with new air conditioning are now in service. Crews are completing about ten buses per week and should finish the work by August of this year.
CTA President Frank Kruesi said, "The CTA is working toward a goal of having 100 percent of our buses air conditioned by Fall, 2003. With the escalating prices of gasoline this summer, we hope a more comfortable ride will encourage more customers to take public transit as we continuously work to provide service that is on-time, clean, safe and friendly."
Customers will find a comfortable ride on the CTA's seven rail lines as well. All CTA rail cars are equipped with air conditioning. The 2200-series older model cars that primarily serve the Blue Line are having their existing air conditioning systems upgraded by increasing system cooling capacity and airflow. This project should also be completed by August. In addition, 364 of the 2600-series cars serving the Blue, Red and Purple Lines are getting air conditioning upgrades. All 598 of these cars should be completed by June, 2002.
CTA Board Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett said, "These upgrades to our buses and trains are the result of major capital investments paying off for our customers. These investments help the CTA enhance our service by providing a more comfortable ride."
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 to report malfunctioning air conditioning and the number of the car.
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