CTA to replace lighting on new rail cars, buy 8 more at discount

CTA to replace lighting on new rail cars, buy 8 more at discount

The CTA board today OK’ed a change in lighting in the new aisle-facing rail cars from fluorescent to LED lights. Officials say the switch will save energy, improve lighting and result in longer bulb life of 12 years. The average life expectancy of fluorescent light bulbs is about two years, and the bulbs require special hazardous material handling procedures.

The board also approved purchase of eight more 5000 series rail cars, bringing the final total on the current order to 714. Currently, CTA has taken delivery of 202 of the rail cars and has 192 in service, according to a news release. The new rail cars have been fully rolled out on the Pink Line and are being added to the Red and Green Lines. The rail cars currently in CTA’s possession will have all lighting replaced and all new cars will have LED lights installed in them at the Bombardier plant prior to shipment to CTA.

Under the deal with car manufacturer Bombardier, CTA will advance Bombardier an accelerated payment of $61 million and apply a spare parts credit of $15 million in return for the LED lights and the eight rail cars. The total value of the 5000 series project is about $1.1 billion. The CTA will save about $300,000 per car over the original contract price.

The CTA will continue to take delivery of the 500-plus additional rail cars through the end of 2015.


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  • In the Sun-Times article, that moron Claypool is quoted as saying "the disabled like these seats".
    Now, by disabled, he really means those in wheelchairs & they make up maybe 0.1% of rail passengers & even less in the winter, since they can't get through the snow that isn't shoveled.
    So now, the needs of a micro-minority are running the system.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    There are other types of disability. Apparently, the morbidly obese like them, although a car can only seat 18.

  • Is the CTA actually listening that the side by side seats are very uncomfortable unless you are really small and ordering new buses with a more comfortable seating arrangement?? I'm on a brand new articulated bus (# 4341) and it has nearly all seats facing forward including up front!

  • In reply to Matt:

    That one was on a Seattle option; we don't know if CTA exercised much independent judgment.

    As the Emanuel press conference points out, the next 300 40 foot buses are getting the same brand of seats (Freeman-4One) as buses 4150-4207. Apparently a wider seat than the ones on the L cars, and nothing said about their arrangement.

    But, as I said here at least twice before, the specifications for the 842 L cars are the same as for these 714, unless the Chief Engineer of Rail Operations decides differently, and while there was a choice in Jan. 2008, he sure didn't then.

  • In reply to Matt:

    BTW, since the references in the rail car specifications are to the Rail Engineer, it is doubtful that he was even in the loop for the bus decisions.

  • Interesting. So Seattle actually values comfort and sensibility for their bus riders. These Seattle buses only have 3 sideways seats on each side right up front fewer than ANY CTA ordered articulated bus. If you look around the bus there seems to be no odd random unusable gaps where the seats end etc. Logic would dictate that design of buses and train cars are done with a specific seating arrangement and style in mind. This would explain why many newer CTA buses and the 5000 series cars have all sorts of gaps and wasted unusable space. With the rail cars they took a design from decades ago and the CTA has gerrymandered a seating arrangement into a space not designed for it. Just brilliant. Slap in the face of industrial designers. Wasted space. Degraded quality of commute for scores of riders. And all this is easily avoidable and wouldn't have cost much more to get it right in the first place. Some people really need to get fired for such ignorance and causing a major screw up.

  • In reply to Matt:

    As I implied, and you pretty much figured out, CTA may have a rail engineer but not an interior designer, and apparently does not even use one, not even Logan Rullter (a 13 year old third generation one on public TV).

    But that was manifest a few months after Jan. 2008.

  • In reply to jack:

    And I still remember that the CTA had the 2200s designed by the noted design firm of Sundberg-Ferar!
    They also designed the original BART trains.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Also the WMATA Metro and MARTA.

    Except it was the 2400s. The 2200s were by Skidmore Owens and Merrill. My recollection is confirmed by CERA #115.

    SOM designed the whole Dan Ryan project. However, we know in retrospect that the tracks themselves were never designed and constructed properly.

    And, as far as SF designing the 2400s, that sure didn't make any difference once the decals were stripped.

  • In reply to jack:

    The CTA needs more than an interior designer. The CTA needs a mandate that design will be ergonomic for the passengers. That means the seating will conform itself to the comfort and usability of the passengers, not that the passengers will put up with whatever painful design someone slaps together in disregard for the status of passengers as human beings.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    So long as the passengers don't pay the freight, what makes you think that this would be a priority to the politicians who run the CTA? As shown since about 1990 when 1 by 2 seats first appeared, they don't even think that you are entitled to a seat. They also don't enforce the federal law that you have to stand behind the white line.

    Want ergonomics, buy an Audi.

  • In reply to jack:

    Then how do you account for Seattle?

    Oh, yeah, and I do pay. Maybe not the whole thing but at least something. Also I pay taxes.

    I don't think telling us "shut up, it's futile" is actually helping.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Seattle had accessible buses a decade before Chicago. Better coffee, too.

    And if it isn't futile, why don't you and Mike give us something that actually works? You know that CTA is not going to hire an ergonomic engineer. At least if the idea is only posted here.

  • In reply to Matt:

    Or N O T Re-Electing "somebody" could change the whole face of Chicago.transit.

    Especially if that NEW "somebody" appointed a New CTA Administration who C A R E D.

  • It is obvious that Emanuel doesn't care about the CTA, but if the people at the school closing hearings can't make good on their promise that Emanuel brought them all together to make them care about the schools and himself a one term mayor, there aren't enough people in Chicago who care about CTA and know that the CT Board has mismanaged it for about 20 years to care about it.

    But in your neck of the woods, Bloomberg, who got term limits abolished (thereby making him no different that Hugo Chavez) is pouring $2 million in the 2 CD race behind a political hack.

  • YOU are Correct in about everything you say jack -- BUT sometime in May or June, when the inevitable Fire (emergency equipment blocking streets, Storm (power lines, and trees down - no stoplights,) Bad Accident, or other problem shuts the "Shuttle Bus" operation down (or a problem on the Green Line 'L') -- Without some alternative the ENTIRE South Side will FREAK OUT.

    And they will HAVE to come up with something QUICK to assure the Public that it won't happening again.

    I am now registered to attend this ATA Conference on the 25th, and I will be climbing into the Ring with 1,000 Color Fliers and the Gray Line MED EMU Prototype: http://www.grayline.20m.com/photo3.html


    I will report back on the outcome.

  • Why are you persisting with the "MED EMU Prototype" when you know that the ME cars are being assembled in Rochelle and delivered as we speak?

    Do you have a grant for approximately $64 million for 16 cars, or the money to finance it yourself?

  • While it is N O T on anything L I K E the same level, I'm sure E V E R Y B O D Y told the Wright Bros: "Give it up boys -- you must be CRAZY".

    THEY didn't listen either -- just like ME.

  • Then find a bicycle shop in Dayton Ohio to assemble them, and a beach in North Carolina to tun them.

    I'm sure that The Spruce Goose is in commercial operation ;-), and at least Howard Hughes had the money to build it.

  • In reply to jack:


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    In reply to jack:


  • In reply to jack:

    Stuff like what you say jack -- just makes me MORE determined to see that MY Community (SE Side of Chicago) gets it's fair share -- It is NOT getting it now.

  • Interpret this Geographically accurate map for me jack (the bottom Map Image on the page): http://www.grayline.20m.com/photo4.html

    It would seem that the Lower RH corner of the Map ( Chicago's SE Side ) DOES NOT have the 'L' service A L L the other parts of the City do.- or am I reading the Map wrong?

    What is the reason for that jack?? Is there any solution besides my I D I O T I C ideas???

  • IIRC, there isn't much of any Metra service on the West and North sides of the city, other than say, the Ravenswood station.

    In fact, there isn't any CTA bus service on the far Northwest side of the city.

    You've been bringing up the same arguments that have gone nowhere for at least 12 years that I know of. You know what that's the definition of?

    Like I said, take the 79 bus to State, where you'll have a brand new L in about 9 months. Even if the people who run the CTA are pathological liars, that's more likely than having a Shoreliner running parallel to the 26 bus.

  • In reply to jack:

    And, also, the real reason for your floating neighborhood not getting anything is that at least your neighbors elect crooks like the 2 Jacksons and Beavers, and incompetents like Todd Stroger. His daddy dominated the 8th Ward machine for years--what did he do for the neighborhood?

    If you are in the 7th, you have a new aldercreature--why don't you show her your toy train?

  • In reply to jack:

    There are numerous areas of the city that have atrocious bus service due to the CTA ever figuring out that many more people now live in places they didn't live in 1947.
    Then there are all the other changes, such as Clybourn & Elston becoming major shopping streets south of Belmont, but they don't have any bus service.
    Or buses that terminated short because the Surface Lines Co. didn't want them going over a Class 1 RR's grade crossing. The 53 ending at Peterson instead of Devon is an example of that.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    If you go to RTAMS, Clybourn is part of the shell game that CTA was approved for a JARC grant, but couldn't come up with the matching funds. Apparently Pace can for its grants.

    Of course, if you read my post closely, I didn't say that Gladstone Park didn't have bus service, just that it didn't have CTA bus service. Just like South Shore doesn't have CTA rapid transit service. This, of course, is because various politicians carving up turf run the transit authorities here. However, there isn't any proof that either Gladstone Park or Exchange Ave. is underserved.

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    In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Have to agree with that. Another example: In spite of radically changed demographics the Purple Line kept by-passing Wilson and Sheridan during morning rush hour while huge crowds are trying to squeeze into already stuffed Reds.

  • http://thenewsdispatch.com/articles/2013/02/15/news/opinion/guest_editorials/doc511d93b86cf8b342123491.txt

    A fine example of how Transit Planning SHOULD work -- Instead of CTA's "We DON'T give a PHUCK what you want or don't want!!!

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