The Chicago Transit Authority has begun operating the first of its 150 New Flyer articulated hybrid buses, Mayor Richard M. Daley and transit officials said.
The articulated hybrids are able to hold up to 125 riders – the buses they are scheduled to replace are able to accommodate up to 80 riders.
The 22 buses now operating have been phased into service since mid-October and the rest will arrive by summer 2009.
CTA’s lease cost will be approximately $13.4 million per year. The terms of the agreement allow CTA to lease the buses for 12 years and retain ownership at the conclusion of the lease. Leasing allowed CTA to begin to take delivery of the buses now, rather than waiting until sufficient capital funds were available to purchase the buses.