Chicago Transit to overhaul 60% of bus fleet

Posted on November 15, 2012

Starting in spring 2013, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will begin a groundbreaking initiative to rebuild 60% of its bus fleet – the largest bus overhaul project the agency has ever undertaken. The $185 million project is akin to a “gut rehab,” creating almost-new buses while generating the equivalent of more than 200 well-paying jobs.

“This project is critical to keeping buses operating efficiently, smoothly and reliably — and also will help the CTA avoid the millions of dollars in additional maintenance that the agency would incur if work were deferred,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool.

The Chicago Transit Board awarded contracts to Cummins NPower LLC and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC to perform turnkey overhauls, which include supporting labor and the furnishing, installation and warranty of all supplies and materials associated with the project. CTA set up the contracts to ensure the cost efficiency for the project by pricing out the costs to rebuild each of the four bus configurations included in the project.

The oldest buses to be rebuilt include vehicles that have been in service for seven years and have more than 275,000 miles in stop-and-go traffic.

All overhaul work will be performed at local facilities, which will allow for the rebuilding of approximately six buses per week.

Additionally, the contracts call for new and existing personnel at CTA’s South Shops heavy maintenance facility to handle components of the overhauls, including body repair and repainting and the installation of new energy-efficient LED lighting.

Upon completion of this work, funded with CTA sales-tax dollars, CTA’s 1000 series New Flyer buses will be like-new. Each will receive rebuilt engines, transmissions, suspensions, heating and air-conditioning systems, exterior repair and repainting as necessary, LED lights and other internal amenities. In addition, the 430 buses not originally equipped with particulate filters will receive them as part of the overhaul, which will help reduce harmful engine emissions.

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