The Chicago Transit Authority today approved a $17.2 million contract for the purchase of up to 125 buses from Optima Bus Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. The new 30-foot buses will be the first of such length in CTA history.
The buses will be used on routes with lower peak ridership and on routes that operate along narrow streets in areas such as Hyde Park. The buses will replace the 13 40-foot Orion I buses that were purchased used from Pace earlier this year.
“Upgrading the bus fleet with these slightly smaller buses will allow CTA to better allocate its resources throughout the service area, much like having the right tool for the job,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi. “New buses not only improve the reliability of service, but having a smaller sized bus in the fleet will allow us to better match service with ridership and realize cost efficiencies that come from operating a smaller vehicle.”
In addition to low emission Cummins engines, the new buses will be equipped with all the same amenities part of CTA’s existing bus fleet including surveillance cameras, bike racks, next stop announcement system and automatic passenger counters.
The contract calls for a base order of 50 buses, with an option for 75 additional buses.
The CTA expects delivery of the new fleet to begin in late 2006. Additional information about the new buses can be found on the “roster page”:/bus/500.