The Chicago Transit Board has approved a change in its current contract with Bombardier to purchase 406 new rail cars. In addition, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will make technological improvements to some of the rail car features.
The improvements include: adding wireless connectivity to the electronic systems for viewing live video from any railcar and to access diagnostic information in real time; adding cellular modems to rail cars for communicating with customers via audio and text messages; upgrading seat fabric to an anti-stain/anti-microbial fabric; and requesting an industrial design assessment.
The changes made to the existing $577 million contract total $26.6 million, bringing the grand total for the base order of 206 rail cars and option 1 for 200 additional rail cars to $603.6 million.
The rail cars will replace older cars, some more than 30 years old.
Following testing and evaluation of the prototypes, delivery of the base order and option 1 is scheduled to begin in 2010 and run through 2012.