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In 1983, the CTA ordered 145 additional 55-foot long articulated buses from MAN. Unlike the previous order of 20 buses which were built in Germany, the 7100-series buses were assembled at MAN’s American plant near Charlotte, North Carolina.
The 7100-series would be the last CTA buses to include air conditioning until 1991. Due to funding constraints, the CTA decided to eliminate air conditioning in future bus purchases.
The buses were originally painted in CTA’s two-toned green scheme, but were eventually repainted in the white, blue, and red scheme introduced in 1987.
In the late 1990s, the 7100-series buses were showing their age. Since at the time the CTA did not have the funds to replace the buses with newer models, the 7100-series was replaced with used MAN Articulated buses from Seattle Metro in 2001.