Nova Bus secured a $148 million order for 300 Nova LFS Smart Buses from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), with contract options possibly bringing the total up to 450 vehicles.
Delivery of the 40-foot vehicles is expected to begin in early 2014. As part of CTA’s bus modernization plan, the new LFS Smart Bus will replace older models of Nova LFS that CTA has had in service for 14 years.
“Continued investment and upkeep of our bus fleet is critical in keeping the city of Chicago moving,” said Chicago Transit Authority President Claypool. “These new buses will replace existing buses nearing the end of their useful life and will ensure the CTA continues to provide safe and reliable service through a modernized fleet.”
CTA’s new Nova LFS buses include many improvements compared to models delivered 14 years ago. Their passenger environment was optimized based on client and focus group feedback. The design, inspired by aerospace and rail transportation, offers a comfortable ride and easy maintenance for operators, according to Nova.
“Our goal is to combine the best of manufacturer and operator field expertise,” said Jean-Pierre Baracat, president of Nova Bus. “Each city has its own reality. Buses operate 24/7 in highly variable conditions. Consequently, we continuously work in partnership with our customers to provide proven and tailored buses that are built to last.”
Additionally, CTA’s new vehicles comply with 2013 EPA requirements and 2014 Fuel Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas emission standards and also integrate the Nova eCooling system, which eliminates engine overheating.
CTA’s new vehicles will also boost Chicago’s local economy and create jobs. Seats for the 300 buses will be manufactured in Chicago by Freedman Seating Co. (FSC), a 120-year-old company based in Humboldt Park.
“Everyone at Freedman Seating is proud and excited to have earned a place in this important program,” said Craig Freedman, president of Freedman Seating. “Our selection to provide seats is a win not only for the city but a win for FSC’s 550 dedicated associates. The city will be getting the latest in transit seat design and innovation, built right here in Chicago.”
Additional bus components will also be supplied by Illinois-based businesses, such as door systems by Vapor Bus International from Buffalo Grove.
The buses will be assembled in Nova Bus’ Upstate New York plant. Each Nova LFS will contribute to the creation or retention of a total of 1.1 quality manufacturing jobs and five indirect jobs.