CTA bus and rail facilities will receive a $205 million makeover beginning in 2013.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA President Forrest Claypool announced the plans on Tuesday, saying the upgrade is the “first ever on this scale.” The project is expected to create 500 jobs.
The announcement came six weeks after the CTA announced its plan to acquire 425 new buses and rebuild 1,030 others. The facility face-lift is expected to finish in 2015 and will be financed by a combination of CTA sale tax bonds and federal funding.
“The CTA is the backbone of the city, keeping our people and economy moving and growing,” Emanuel said in a statement. “Investing in our infrastructure is key to Chicago’s continued growth and not only will this initiative ensure commuters have safe and reliable service for years to come, it spurs the creation of hundreds of jobs.”
The facilities are used to maintain and repair rail cars and buses. Seven of the outdated bus stations range from 20 to 55 years old, and the 77th street garage dates back to 1903, Claypool said. Officials say the age of these facilities have delayed the CTA from getting buses back on the street quickly.
“Conditions at some of these facilities are so poor that we have to use extra staff to make up for the inadequate equipment that can neither support more modern vehicles nor accommodate the space needed for the increasing number of 60-foot buses we’re adding to the fleet,” Claypool said.
Emanuel said $130 million of the investment will be used to repair bus stations and repair facilities. The remaining funds will be used on the rail facilities. Emanuel, who has put an emphasis on rehabilitating the CTA system, said he is “proud of this investment and proud of this fleet.”