With the operational funding crisis behind it, the CTA can now focus on plans to improve service rather than eliminate it. In addition to the lease of new hybrid articulated buses, both route and bus assignment changes are expected in the coming months.
As announced last month, the CTA is looking to lease 150 hybrid articulated buses from New Flyer of America. With operational funding now secured, the CTA is expected to move ahead with the lease. The new buses will supplement the troublesome NABI articulated fleet and replace aging, high-maintenance 40-foot vehicles. Once the New Flyer hybrids arrive, a portion of the NABI fleet is expected to undergo maintenance to repair at least some of the recurring problems with the vehicles. Delivery of the hybrid articulated buses is expected to commence in August.
The upcoming spring pick is expected to bring multiple route and bus assignment changes. Several routes are expected to be reassigned to other garages, with a particular emphasis on reducing the number of routes currently assigned to North Park garage. Along with the route assignment changes, buses themselves may be shuffled amongst garages in an effort to improve fleet maintenance.