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CTA To Test Electric Buses

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CTA Bus (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

CTA Bus (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – The Chicago Transit Authority will soon have two electric buses on the roads.

Its board on Friday approved an ordinance to purchase the two 35- to 40-foot, lithium-ion battery-powered buses with the help of a $2.2 million Federal Transit Administration grant.

The question for the agency is just how long the buses can travel with a load of passengers on a single charge in Chicago’s unpredictable weather.

Typically, electric buses can travel 30 to 40 miles on a single battery charge, the CTA said. The grant includes funding for charging stations to be set up at the end of routes or at bus garages.

The two buses will be tested for about a year.

Electric buses made their debut in Seoul, South Korea, and are already being used in Burbank, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas.

The agency also received a $1.6 million grant for an analysis of its Western Corridor, between Howard Street on the north, Western Avenue on the west, Ashland Avenue on the east and 95th Street on the south. CTA will examine whether Bus Rapid Transit can provide enhanced, faster service and better communication points at better prices.

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