Durbin, Quigley, Emanuel Announce More Than $3.6 Million to Expand CTA Electric Bus Fleet

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL-5), and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the Federal Transit Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has awarded the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) $3,620,000 to expand its electric bus fleet. Today’s funding will enable the CTA to purchase up to four electric buses and two chargers. The CTA was the first major transit agency to use all-electric buses as part of daily service on several routes citywide beginning in October 2014. The buses are designed to provide a cleaner, quieter ride that reduces fuel costs and significantly decreases emissions, improving air quality for customers and the general public.
“This announcement brings us one step closer to a greener Chicago. Not only will these buses improve fuel economy, saving thousands of dollars a year per bus, but Chicago residents and visitors can breathe easy knowing these upgrades improve air quality,” said Senator Durbin. “I commend the Department of Transportation for working to reduce emissions and bringing our nation’s bus transit system into the 21st century.”
“Having had the opportunity to view and ride Chicago’s first electric bus last month during my ‘Chicago Climate Change Tour,’ I understand firsthand the value these buses bring to Chicago. Not only do these buses provide Chicagoans with a quieter ride, but they also greatly decrease emissions and help improve air quality for all of Chicago,” said Rep. Quigley. “Through my role on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work with the Department of Transportation to bring back federal dollars to update Chicago’s aging transportation infrastructure.”
“Protecting our environment is not just Chicago’s responsibility to our children, it's also a smart investment in our economic future," Mayor Emanuel said. “This grant will help us do just that by allowing CTA to expand its electric bus fleet. This is a win for commuters, residents, our economy and our environment. I want to thank our federal partners for recognizing Chicago as a city leading the effort to reduce emissions, and helping us invest in a cleaner city for everyone.”
The electric buses are the CTA’s latest effort to modernize its fleet with vehicles that are clean, modern, reliable, more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly. Currently, about 15 percent of CTA buses are hybrid electric-clean diesel buses.  Since 2012, CTA has purchased 425 new buses and performed mid-life overhauls on more than 1,000 buses to extend their lifespans and make them more environmentally friendly than when they were brand new, with the addition of diesel particulate filters.