CTA gets grant to buy 2 electric buses

The CTA will use a $2.2 million federal grant to buy two all-electric buses.

The battery-powered buses with an all-electric propulsion system will be tested on short runs, said a CTA spokesperson.

See the Tribune story for more.


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  • I see that those of us who were here in Chicago before 1972 posted the expected comments in the Tribune comment board to the main story (which I saw before the Chicago Breaking News one). I was thinking the 10 mile long extension cord joke until those comments refreshed my recollection.

    Maybe they will be "green" like the Marmons were :-).

    While the main Tribune article said that the CTA has not "settled on a brand," one would hope that they had contacted some suppliers to see if the grant would cover it. :-) According to Durbin, it's $2.2 million for at least two buses (but probably 2 buses at $1.1 million each).

  • Of course the CTA had something like 15 electric bus routes from the 1940s to the 1970s on the North & Northwest sides plus the Roosevelt Rd. trolley line. It was criminal to get rid of them!

  • What does CTA consider "shorter routes"? I hope the CTA does not plan on testing these on the #64 and #69 where the ridership barely calls for an Optima bus.

  • In reply to rsakowski:

    They'll probably run them on something like the 96, which is not only short, but has almost no riders anymore due to its cutbacks in the route & service.
    Back in the 60s, these were very crowded buses.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Even in 1980 when I moved to the neighborhood, they were very crowded. But so unreliable (how long will my commute be today? 45 minutes? An hour and a half? Had I better just walk to the train?) that over the years most of its riders were forced to look for alternatives. Only once that was accomplished did the CTA run its study showing that, lo, the 96 was a low-ridership line. A process repeated in outlying neighborhoods all over the city, I have no doubt. I digress, but the CTA's systematic decimation of neighborhood transit is a long-standing gripe of mine.

  • In reply to rsakowski:

    They said "shorter runs," not "shorter routes." That means probably something like 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.--not a route that has so little passenger and street traffic that the test would mean nothing.

    It appears that you guys are not assuming a full test.

  • In reply to rsakowski:

    As long as these buses are already electric, it would be wonderful if they came with outlets so us guys could shave while the womenfolk are putting on their makeup.

  • In reply to BobS:

    Nothing saying that they would be 120v AC. Probably not.

  • In reply to jack:

    I've never heard of an AC battery.

  • In reply to timwhit:

    Of course not, but there are solid state inverters. Given that they won't put DC motors into L cars any more, I doubt that they would put them in buses.

  • In reply to jack:

    It was a joke.

  • In reply to BobS:

    (Although, that said, I'm surprised that our resident pedants didn't point out that most cars already have outlets: http://www.ctatattler.com/2006/07/where_to_charge.html )

  • In reply to BobS:

    Outlets, pbfft. When real men need to finish their grooming on the bus, they shave dry with a Swiss army knife. :-)

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