Chicago rolls with Bombardier

Bombardier Transportation has been selected as the preferred bidder on a major order for rapid transit cars from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).

The CTA Board selected Bombardier for a base order of 206 rapid transit vehicles and exercised a first option for 200 additional vehicles for a total of 406 cars. The total number of cars involved could increase to 706 should CTA exercise all available options. A contract is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks.

According to Bombardier, the new rapid transit cars will be the first in the CTA fleet to utilise alternating current (AC) propulsion, a technology that permits dynamic braking regeneration, lower energy and maintenance costs, and improved reliability. The new fleet of cars also will be equipped with a special levelling system to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The system ensures that access to the car floor is level with the station platform during boarding.

The contract calls for delivery of ten prototype cars 30 months after official Notice to Proceed is given by the CTA. The prototypes will undergo nine months of testing before delivery of production series cars begins.

The CTA operates the second largest public transportation system in the United States, covering the city of Chicago and 40 surrounding suburbs. CTA trains provide about 500,000 customer trips each day via seven routes, 222 miles of track and 144 stations.