The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) began testing six prototype electric buses on its #66 Chicago route. The buses, which are part of an existing contract with Proterra, will be monitored for their performance before the CTA authorizes the production of an additional 17 electric buses.
The contract includes the purchase of a total of 23 Proterra 40-foot electric buses at a cost of approximately $900,000 per bus. As part of the procurement, the CTA has also installed five electric quick-charging stations at the Navy Pier and Chicago/Austin bus turnarounds, as well as the Chicago Avenue garage.
CTA first tested two electric buses in 2014, and since both electric buses performed well and adeptly handled Chicago’s weather and temperatures, the decision was made to purchase additional electric vehicles.
“The introduction of these new electric buses is just one example of how the CTA is committed to adding more green vehicles, addressing climate change and being more environmentally conscious,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. “Once these prototype vehicles pass the testing phase and we purchase additional electric buses, CTA will be one step closer to its goal of having a 100% electric fleet by the year 2040.”
In addition to lower emissions, the new electric buses will offer significant savings in fuel and maintenance costs for the agency. For customers, the buses will provide a smoother, quieter ride as well as new overhead passenger information screens to show real-time travel information and other service updates.
CTA is expected to receive the remaining order of electric buses in early 2022.