After over a decade of use, the CTA is planning on using about $200 million in federal funding to replace decades-old “L” cars.
The CTA, which celebrated its 75th birthday last year, is no stranger to upgrades, with a few Edgewater station rebuilds in the works. Also known for their fan-favorite holiday trains and free NYE rides , one of Chicago’s main public transportation system is about to get a few updates.
According to a news release, the plan involves using the Federal Transit Administration funding to buy over 300 “L” cars, using these new builds to replace cars that have been in transit since the 1980s.
With over 1,492 rail cars currently in service across 145+ stations, the CTA plans to use this grant to design the next generation of rail cars. Right now, the average age of CTA rail cars is around 40 years according to the FTA.
As for the proposed timeline and more information on the CTA’s “L” updates, details are currently under wraps for now. Though we know that the federal government is investing $703 million of funding across U.S. transit systems for the new Rail Vehicle Replacement Program.
The federal government also plans to replace railcars like the “L” cars through 2026, using $1.5 billion in investments.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that these grants “will help bring riders faster, safer, more reliable service on America’s rails.”
As many of Chicago’s railcars have aged over the years, which has resulted in delays, accessibility problems, and outdated rider technology amongst other issues, these eventual upgrades will improve transportation quality, speed, and timing.