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CHICAGO (CBS) – The CTA on Tuesday unveiled its new rail cars, which will debut on the Pink Line.
The trains will have wider, roomier cars, digital destination signs and security cameras.
After a successful prototype testing period, the first of 706 new cars will debut on the Pink Line. As more cars continue to arrive, they will be tested internally to ensure all components are operating properly before going into service on all CTA lines.
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The addition of the new cars will allow CTA to retire some of its cars, which average between 32 and 41 years old, according to the release.
“Modernizing the fleet is very important and is fiscally prudent because a younger fleet requires less maintenance and allows CTA to keep the trains on the system where they are needed and not in the repair shop,” CTA president Forrest Claypool said.
The cars feature an aisle-facing seating configuration which adds six inches to the narrowest portion of the aisle, allowing more room for customers carrying backpacks, packages, luggage, strollers and bikes.
The cars have LED displays that will display the next stop, date and time. The same signs can also be used to display audio announcements made to riders.
Above the doors, there is a system map with LED lights that indicates the train’s present location.
The total cost of the rail cars $1.137 billion, funded by bonds backed by sales tax receipts, with the remaining $150 million paid from federal funds.