CTA doubles electric bus fleet to promote sustainability

Posted: 20 June 2023 | | No comments yet

In line with its commitment to achieve a 100% zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, the new electric buses are set to arrive in early 2025, offering reduced emissions and cost savings for the Chicago Transit Authority.

CTA doubles electric bus fleet to promote sustainability

Credit: Chicago Transit Authority

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced its ambitious plan to expand its all-electric bus fleet with the purchase of 22 new buses. This move is part of the agency’s ‘Charging Forward’ Plan, which aims to convert the entire agency’s bus fleet to electric by 2040. By doubling the size of the electric bus fleet, CTA aims to extend the environmental and health benefits to more vulnerable communities, particularly those on the South and West sides of Chicago, which are disproportionately affected by harmful pollutants.

The Chicago Transit Board has authorised the exercising of a contract option valued at $26.2 million for the purchase of additional 40-foot electric buses. The original contract had been awarded to Proterra in 2018, and the base order included 23 standard electric buses, with an option for up to 25 additional buses.

With this latest decision, CTA will soon have a total of 47 electric buses in its fleet. The funds for this expansion will come from a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant, as well as funds from the Regional Transportation Authority.

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The arrival of the new electric buses is expected in early 2025, and their deployment will not only reduce harmful emissions but also lead to significant savings in fuel and maintenance costs for the agency. In addition to environmental benefits, the electric buses will provide a smoother and quieter ride for passengers. The buses will also be equipped with new overhead passenger information screens, displaying real-time travel information and other service details.

In order to support CTA’s electrification effort, the agency has received $29 million in grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). These funds will be utilised for the purchase of fully accessible, all-electric buses, as well as improvements to bus facilities to accommodate the new vehicles and enhance communication and safety measures.