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CTA To Buy 125 More Fuel-Efficient Buses To Replace Aging Fleet

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Aug 11, 2015 4:07PM

We know the joys of nabbing a seat on one of the CTA's sleek, extra-long, fuel efficient buses and the agony of watching the older, clunkier buses pull up to the curb.

But have heart—the CTA is replacing some of the oldest buses in its fleet with 125 new, fuel-efficient buses, officials announced Monday. The new buses are expected to be on the road by May 2016.

The city is already bringing 425 new buses to its fleet of 1,800 through a massive, $220 million modernization program, according to the Tribune. This $68.5 million purchase from the Canadian makers of the CTA's more energy-efficient, 40- and 60-foot buses would be an add-on, funded with the help of the federal government and CTA bond revenue.

The new buses, called Nova buses, will replace the 15-year-old Nova 6400 Series of buses, introduced to the city between 2000 and 2002. They will feature LED lights, security cameras and more fuel-efficiency than the older buses, according to the CTA.

Officials are hoping the changes could boost stalling ridership numbers, which have fallen by about 8 percent last year. Tribune transportation columnist John Hilkevitch attributes the decline in CTA bus riders to the buses' reputation for getting stuck in traffic. The bus modernization is just one of several ongoing CTA projects aimed at improving transportation options for Chicagoans who are forgoing cars, including construction of a Bus Rapid Transit line through Loop.