The Chicago Transit Authority’s new fleet of bright blue electric buses, which rolled out Friday, are a down payment on a promise toward a greener transportation system.
Six prototype electric buses are now in service on the #66 Chicago route, the agency announced.
“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,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter said in a statement.
If the prototypes prove successful, CTA will authorize the production of 17 more electric buses from the manufacturer Proterra, with the full order expected by 2022. The cost per bus is approximately $900,000.
To service the buses, CTA also purchased and installed five electric quick-charging stations, which allow buses to “reload” on route. According to the agency, the electric buses can run 75-120 miles on a single charge.
The buses are expected to produce lower emissions, while also saving fuel and maintenance costs. In terms of rider benefits, CTA said the buses will provide a smoother, quieter ride and will be outfitted with overhead passenger information screens.
Expansion of the city’s electric bus fleet was among the measures included in a climate emergency resolution passed by City Council early in 2020 as one way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.