Last month, the Chicago Transit Authority placed into service its first of 20 model DE40LF diesel-electric hybrid buses from New Flyer of America, Inc.
The order is being split amongst two hybrid technologies: GM/Allison parallel hybrids (to be numbered the 800-series) and ISE-Siemens ThunderVolt series hybrids (to be numbered the 900-series).
The first buses to go in service are GM/Allison parallel hybrids. They, and likely all future deliveries, are being assigned to Kedzie Garage.
With the exception of a roof-mounted battery pack, the buses are aesthetically identical to CTA’s 1000-series New Flyer D40LF diesel buses. Along with new, wider seats from American Seating Inc., they feature all the standard CTA amenities, including air conditioning, security cameras, bike racks, automated announcement systems, and wheelchair ramps.
The CTA will test the 800- and 900-series DE40LF buses for at least one year to measure their performance in Chicago’s extreme weather conditions.