CTA to spend half a billion dollars on bus fleet

June 1, 2012 9:50:37 AM PDT
The Chicago Transit Authority is giving its fleet of buses a half a billion dollar overhaul.

It will involve both purchasing new buses and rehabbing some buses currently in service.

"Today we are announcing within the next two years, the CTAwill have an entirely new bus fleet thanks to the most ambitious bus replacement and corporate rebuilding project in CTA history," said CTA President Forrest Claypool during a news conference Friday. "As part of this initiative, a (purchase order) is being issued this morning for the purchase of 425 new buses."

The CTA recently purchased 100 new buses. It will purchase another 425. They're a mix of hybrid and clean diesel buses. They're modern and provide a smoother ride for passengers with more seating.

The CTA will also rebuild more than 1,000 other buses, essentially creating an entire new fleet of 1,500 buses. The project will be paid for with sales tax dollars.

Some riders are looking forward to the upgrade.

"I am completely for a greener option," said CTA rider Allison Garlock. "A lot of the buses need to be rehabbed."

"A lot of the buses need improvements," said rider Kevin Ahn. "If they're nicer and cleaner and newer?they could use a little refreshment."

This comes at a perfect time for the CTA, which said ridership was up four million in 2011, most likely because of the higher prices of gas.

This entire project will last about two years. It will take two years to get all of the new buses on the road.

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