300 new CTA buses to help provide a smoother ride - FOX 32 News Chicago

300 new CTA buses to help provide a smoother ride

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(City of Chicago, CTA) (City of Chicago, CTA)
(City of Chicago, CTA) (City of Chicago, CTA)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago is getting ready to upgrade its fleet of CTA buses, to provide a sleeker, smoother ride for commuters.

Mayor Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool announced the city's major bus modernization program.

The CTA says that its new buses will provide more than a quality ride for CTA riders. Their special lightweight seats are also made in Chicago which will provide more jobs for Chicagoans.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel showed off one of the 300 new buses Wednesday that will start hitting the streets in two months.

Each bus costs about $500,000. They will have bigger windows, brighter lighting and 10 surveillance cameras per bus. They will also have improved safety barriers between drivers and bus riders.

The new buses, manufactured by Nova Bus, will be replacing buses in the fleet that are 12-14 years old. 1,000 current CTA buses are also getting rehabbed.

With potholes created by an extremely harsh winter still plaguing the city, Emanuel says the new buses will be put to the test.

"I ordered the staff about two weeks ago to work up a robust new paving plan, so you're building new roads, not just fixing old ones," Emanuel said. "And I ask them about it about five to six times a day to get this plan developed so we can get out and pave the roads. Because while this is a great new bus with an all new system, because of the potholes, it's really going to test the shock absorbers in the system.

The special lightweight seats will be made by Freedman Seating Company in Humboldt Park. They will provide for added fuel efficiency and they will add about 50 jobs.

The first of the 300 new buses will start rolling into the city in May with the full order completed by the end of 2015. Under the Nova contract, the CTA has the option to purchase an additional 150 buses.

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