The Chicago Transit Authority unveiled its newest bus this morning at a press conference at Navy Pier. The new bus, a New Flyer D40LF, is a standard 40-foot model featuring a low floor design, air-conditioning, wheelchair ramp, automated announcement system, and a low emission engine.
The bus is part of a $95 million order for 265 buses, which includes 20 diesel electric hybrid buses.
“This bus purchase represents the CTA’s continued work to upgrade its fleet. With each bus purchase the CTA incorporates new environmentally-friendly technology so that we reduce emissions and our fleet continues to evolve and improve,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi. “In addition to 20 hybrid buses, the entire order includes low emission engines, which will further reduce annual emissions levels of the CTA fleet by 203 tons?or 10 percent.”
Each New Flyer bus will produce 60% fewer emissions than the 1991 Flxible Metro buses it will replace.
The exterior of the new bus is nearly identical to the existing New Flyer D40LF buses that were delivered to the CTA in 1995. However, several changes can be found inside. The new bus includes a more ergonomic seat design, strap hangers, and an easy-touch rear door.
The CTA will receive 20 New Flyer DE40LF hybrid buses as part of the order. The CTA will test these buses for at least a year to see how they perform in Chicago’s extreme weather conditions. Two types of hybrid designs, known as a parallel and a series, will be tested.
Delivery of the new buses will begin in January 2006 and continue through the rest of next year. The buses will replace more than half of the 1991 Flxible Metro series buses currently in use.
While options exist in the order for up to 1,050 buses, the exercising of these options is dependent on the creation of a new capital funding program by the Illinois State Legislature.