The Chicago Transit Authority has invited bids to supply the city’s next generation of metro cars.
The new 7000 series trains will replace the ageing 2200 and 2400 stock, which are 40 and 34 years old respectively.
The project, if all options are exercised, would provide CTA with up to 846 new rail cars and have an estimated value of more than $2 billion.
Delivery of the new rail cars is expected around 2016.
The 7000 series will complement the new Bombardier-built 5000 series cars currently being used on three CTA lines.
“Having world-class public transportation is essential for any world-class city,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“This is not just an investment in our rail system but in our neighborhoods. By strengthening our transportation we will continue Chicago’s economic growth and increase the quality of life for all residents.”
CTA is aiming to reduce the average age of its fleet to less than 10 years by 2022 with the introduction of the new rolling stock.
CTA president Forrest Claypool said: “The CTA is continuing its aggressive plan of investment and modernisation of the nation’s second-largest mass transit system, benefitting our customers and the regional economy, which depends on a vibrant, modern transit system.”
With the base order and options exercised, the CTA would replace its oldest rail cars, including the approximately 400 30-year-old 2600 series, built between 1981 and 1987.
Additional, later-year options could allow for the replacement of the 256 cars in the 3200 series, which are currently 20 years old.