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CTA Awarded $38 Million in Federal Grants

By Chris Bentley in News on Oct 13, 2011 4:30PM

A northbound train pulls into Wilson Avenue station, which will benefit from a $6 million project under the grant program. Image credit: hedgehog3457

CTA will use $38 million in federal grants announced Wednesday to upgrade its bus fleet, renovate the Wilson Red Line “El” stop and fund a study to improve lakefront bus service, the Tribune reported.

$30 million will go toward purchasing more energy-efficient diesel-electric hybrid buses. CTA currently has about 200 hybrids. They reportedly achieve at least 20 percent greater fuel efficiency than standard diesel vehicles, which comprise the rest of CTA’s 1800 buses.

The Wilson Avenue “El” station will be modernized to the tune of $6 million, with improvements including a new elevator and exterior rehab. When it opened in 1900, Wilson was the northern terminus of what was then called the Northwestern Elevated Railroad line. The station, which serves more than 55,000 people, has not received major upgrades in many years.

The remaining $2 million will fund a study of Chicago’s Lakefront Corridor to assess options for improving rapid transit. Currently 18 CTA bus routes carry 109,000 weekday passengers in the corridor, which extends along the shore from Howard Street to 103rd Street.