CTA aims for all-electric bus fleet by 2040

The CTA has 11 electric buses in service, and 14 more are expected to hit the streets this year. The rest of its 1,800-plus fleet run on diesel.

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An electric bus operated by the Chicago Transit Authority.

The CTA’s first electric buses went into service in 2014.

Sun-Times file

The CTA is aiming for the full electrification of its bus fleet by 2040, the transit agency announced Tuesday.

The goal is not only to replace its current fleet of more than 1,800 buses but to put in place the upgrades — including charging equipment — needed to support an all-electric fleet at the city’s seven bus garages and its maintenance facility on the Far South Side.

The CTA has 11 electric buses in service and 14 more are expected to hit the streets this year.

Its first two electric buses were put into service in 2014.

“For nearly a decade, the CTA has been at the forefront of the shift to electric bus technology. As proud as I am of the progress we’ve made, we still have a long way to go,” CTA President Dorval Carter said in a news release.

The e-buses are operating on the No. 66 Chicago, connecting the Austin neighborhood to the Near West Side and Navy Pier. 

The CTA aims to prioritize e-bus deployment on routes serving South and West side neighborhoods that have been “historically overburdened by air quality issues.” 

Among its first targets in the next few years will be routes serving the 95th Red Line hub, the news release stated.

To date, CTA has secured more than $130 million in grant funding to support the effort.

“With the completion of this study, we are now well-positioned to compete for funding, advocate for policies, and drive technology advances that will be essential to implement this plan,” the CTA said.

A framework for complete electrification will be based on a study done by the CTA dubbed “Charging Forward.”

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