Chicago Transit Authority To Issue Bonds To Complete Purchase from Bombardier

The Chicago Transit Board on Feb. 10 approved an ordinance authorizing the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to issue revenue bonds that will allow the agency to purchase 406 rail cars from Bombardier. The amount for the bonds is not to exceed $550 million; the total cost of the rail cars is $674 million.

"Now that all the prototypes have arrived and are undergoing internal testing, we are preparing our cash flow to complete the financing," said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. "The new rail cars are much needed as CTA looks to upgrade its fleet and infrastructure to better serve our customers."

In 2006, CTA ordered 406 new rail cars. The contract contains additional options that could bring the total purchase to 706 cars. When the procurement began, CTA programmed the issuance of bonds as part of its capital spending, and the agency now will move forward with those plans. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) also provided some capital funding for the rail cars.

The cars will replace older rail cars, such as the 2200-series Budd cars that were purchased in 1969-70 and the 2400-series Boeing-Vertol cars purchased in 1976-78.

"These rail cars will be a welcome upgrade to CTA's fleet and will go a long way in improving service reliability," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson.

The new rail cars have features such as security cameras, aisle-facing seating and AC traction motor propulsion.