The Chicago Transit Board has awarded a $32 million contract to Proterra for the purchase of 20 all-electric buses. The new buses will give the Chicago Transit Authority one of the largest EV bus fleets in the country.
CTA has been testing two electric buses since 2014, when the agency became the first in the country to use all-electric-powered buses for regular scheduled service. Both electric buses have performed well and handled Chicago’s weather and temperatures.
In addition to lower emissions that benefit air quality, electric buses offer savings in fuel costs and maintenance costs. The two electric buses currently in operation have saved CTA more than $24,000 annually in fuel costs, and $30,000 annually in maintenance costs, when compared to diesel buses purchased in 2014. They also provide a quieter ride, producing noise the equivalent to a human conversation.
The new buses will include new passenger information screens to show real-time travel information and other service information.
CTA expects to begin receiving the first buses by the end of 2018. The purchase contract also includes the installation of five electric charging stations at various Chicago-area locations, including the garage in which the Proterra buses will be parked in off-hours. The units will allow charging within 5-10 minutes and the buses will have a 75-120-mile range per charge.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.