CTA to issue bonds for new railcars

Posted on February 10, 2010

The Chicago Transit Board approved an ordinance authorizing the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to issue revenue bonds that will allow the agency to purchase 406 railcars.

When the procurement began in 2006, CTA programmed the issuance of bonds as part of its capital spending. The agency now will move forward with those plans. The amount for the bonds is not to exceed $550 million. The total cost of the railcars is $674 million.

In 2006, CTA ordered 406 new railcars. The contract contains additional options that could bring the total purchase to 706 cars. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) also provided some capital funding for the railcars.

The railcars will replace older railcars that are 30 years old to 40 years old, such as the 2200-series Budd cars that were purchased in 1969-70, as well as the 2400-series Boeing-Vertol cars purchased in 1976-78.

The new railcars — the prototypes of which are undergoing testing on CTA's system — have upgraded features such as security cameras, aisle-facing seating and AC, or alternating current, traction motor propulsion.

CTA's last railcar purchase was in the 1990s when 3200-series cars were purchased for the opening of the Orange Line, and to replace older cars on the Brown and Yellow Lines.

Through a competitive RFP process, CTA selected Bombardier Transit Corp. located in Bensalem, Penn. for the contract.  


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