Future Capital Improvement Plans
- By Kevin Zolkiewicz
In their 2005 capital improvement budget, the CTA detailed upcoming improvements to its bus fleet. The CTA also mentioned that new bus fareboxes will be installed over the next two years.
“Over the next five years, CTA plans to spend over $442 million on additional purchases of new low floor fully accessible air-conditioned buses,” the CTA said in its budget.
The new buses would replace the Flxible Metro 5300 series buses and TMC RTS buses. These buses were first put in service in 1991 and have now reached the end of their recommended service life. While the TMC buses did receive a mid-life overhaul in 2002, the Flxibles did not.
CTA also confirmed that it is still expecting the delivery of at least one 45’ Compo Bus model from North American Bus Industries (NABI). The Comp Bus is constructed of lightweight composite materials, which achieves an overall lower weight, thus less fuel is burned and less pollutants emitted.
The CTA also hopes to increase revenue by 2007 with the installation of new bus fareboxes. The new fareboxes will lead to an increase in fare collections due to lower failure rates. CTA’s current fareboxes are over 20 years old.
Other projects the CTA hopes eventually implement include a new bus rapid transit and electric streetcar route along Ogden and Carroll Avenue. The line would connect several Chicago neighborhoods including Douglas Park, the West Loop and the 42,000-employee Illinois Medical District. The proposed transit line would have a western terminal at North Riverside Park Mall at Harlem and Cermak, and operate along Cermak Road, Ogden Avenue, Randolph Street, Carroll Avenue and Grand/Illinois with an eastern terminal at the main entrance to Navy Pier.