The CTA has recently received delivery of the Optima Opus prototype bus. The Opus buses, which are shorter and narrower than standard 40-foot buses, will be used on routes in neighborhoods with narrow streets and lower peak ridership.
“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 allows us to better match service with ridership and realize cost efficiencies that come from operating a smaller vehicle.”
The first 10 Optima buses will replace the 16-year-old Orion I buses the CTA purchased used from Pace in 2005.
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 buses will also feature a modified paint scheme and the same wider seats that will soon be installed on the recently delivered 1000-series New Flyer buses.
The base order of 45 buses will be assigned to 103rd and North Park garages for use on University of Chicago and Evanston routes, respectively. Delivery is scheduled to begin next month.