Reporting Bob Roberts
CHICAGO (CBS) – More changes are coming to CTA’s newest ‘L’ cars.
The transit agency’s board approved a switch from fluorescent to LED interior lighting Wednesday, as it also agreed to purchase eight additional rail cars with aisle-facing seats, at a savings of about $300,000 per car.
The purchase of the eight cars from manufacturer Bombardier Industries will boost the total number of 5000-series cars to 714.
No additional money is changing hands. CTA President Forrest Claypool told Newsradio the CTA made the changes to spend down an approximately $30 million credit that was on the books, because the transit agency ordered too many spare parts for the cars from Bombardier. The manufacturer issued the credit when CTA reduced the spare-parts order in 2011.
CTA will pay $1,034,831 for each of the last eight 5000-series cars. The per-car cost for the rest of the order was $1,336,596.
The 202 cars built to date have fluorescent interior lighting that will be replaced by the LED lighting, which is brighter, is expected to last up to six times longer, and is considered a safety enhancement. Claypool said that the LED lights will be installed new on the rest of the order.
The cars will be delivered through 2015. Previous changes to the cars have included the addition of door chimes, colored destination signs, and new wheelset castings.