The CTA isn’t all doom and gloom these days.
There is some good news coming out of the Transit Authority.
Namely, they’re getting rid of their outdated 1970s-era trains and replacing them with more user-friendly rail cars. The one big change, more of the seats will face the aisles creating more space for passengers to stand. Plus, they've added glow tape.
The Chicago Transit Board Wednesday okayed a plan to issue revenue bonds -- to the tune of $550 million – to move forward with the purchase of 406 brand-spanking new rail cars.
“The replacement of aging, outdated equipment is key to operating a transit system as large as CTA,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson in a press release. “These rail cars will be a welcome upgrade to CTA’s fleet and will go a long way in improving service reliability.”
There have already been a few of the new-fangled El trains tooling around the tracks on test drives, but the new fleet could be in place by 2013.
“Now that all the prototypes have arrived and are undergoing internal testing, we are preparing our cash flow to complete the financing,” said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. “The new rail cars are much needed as CTA looks to upgrade its fleet and infrastructure to better serve our customers.”
The $550 million appropriation only covers part of the cost of the $674 million bill, but The Federal Transit Administration and the Illinois Dept. of Transportation kicked in the rest of the cash.
Under the deal, the CTA has the option to buy about 300 more trains from Bombadier Transit Corp, the company that’s making the updated rails.
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