Lately I’ve been focusing on CTA rail news – and there’s been plenty of it:
- The announcement of the shutdown of the south branch of the Red Line next spring to repair Dan Ryan slow zones.
- The start of the North Red Interim Station Improvements project.
- A new bridge being rolled into place this weekend at the Greenleaf viaduct on the Purple Line in Evanston.
But the CTA also is investing heavily in buying and rehabbing buses.
First, the CTA announced in May that it is buying up to 100 new articulated (60-foot) buses from New Flyer Industries. From the press release:
CTA is piggybacking on a contract belonging to King County Metro, Seattle’s public transit agency, to purchase the 100 low-floor, fully-accessible articulated buses. Due to changing business needs, the Seattle transit agency does not plan to purchase the full quantity of buses allowed on their contract and has agreed to assign a portion of the contract to the CTA.
Delivery of the 100 articulated buses – a combination of 33 hybrid diesel-electric and 67 clean-diesel buses – is expected to begin late this year and continue through 2013. The new articulated buses will begin replacing the 40-foot Nova buses that were entered into service in 2000-2001. The new buses will be assigned to routes where they are projected to maximize performance and meet the growing ridership demand.
The latest purchase of 100 articulated buses will cost $80 million and is being funded with a combination of federal funds and local resources.
And then in early June, the CTA said it will buy 425 new buses, and completely rehab another 1,000 of its 40-foot buses.
Th CTA will issue a request for proposal to buy 325 standard, 40-foot clean diesel buses and 100 60-foot articulated buses. The estimated cost is $330 million, with funding coming entirely from the CTA via bonds issued against its sales-tax dollars.
“Later this year, CTA will begin a $165 million project to completely rebuild 1,030 standard 40-foot buses,” according to the press release.. “Buses will essentially be brand-new after receiving rebuilt engines, transmissions, suspensions, heating and air-conditioning systems, exterior repair and repainting as necessary, LED lights and other internal amenities. In addition, the 430 buses not originally equipped with particulate filters will receive them as part of the overhaul, which will help reduce harmful engine emissions.”