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CTA Moves Ahead With Plan For New ‘L’ Cars

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CTA train (CBS file)

CTA train (CBS file)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – Nearly a year has passed since the Chicago Transit Authority began testing the prototypes for its newest ‘L’ cars in everyday service.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, the new 5000-series train cars have now been tested on all the CTA lines.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

Riders appear to be stuck with the center-facing, bowling alley seats, despite complaints seeking a change.

“That’s not something that we’re considering,” said CTA president Richard Rodriguez.

But Rodriguez says the 10 prototype cars came through the most brutal tests of winter well.

“I’m satisfied with the way in which the vehicles have been actually operating to date, in all weather,” Rodriguez said. “As we put them out, we continue to identify different things that need to be addressed, and Bombardier, I think, has been very good about addressing those issues when they’re identified, so I’m satisfied that we’re working hand-in-hand to address everything that we find.”

The latest upgrade was to ‘L’ car software. Rodriguez hopes to give the green light this spring to begin construction of the 700-car fleet.

The new cars will be manufactured in Plattsburgh, N.Y., by Bombardier, which also makes cars for the New York, Boston and Toronto subways, among others.

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