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Record #: R2020-797   
Type: Resolution Status: Introduced
Intro date: 10/7/2020 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Enviromental Protection and Energy
Final action:
Title: Call for subject matter hearing(s) on status of CTA electric bus plans
Sponsors: Martin, Matthew J. , La Spata, Daniel
Topic: COMMITTEE/PUBLIC HEARINGS - Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy
Attachments: 1. R2020-797.pdf

Committee on Environmental Protection & Energy

City Council Meeting October 7, 2020


Resolution Calling for Subject-Matter Hearings on the City's Progress toward CTA Bus Electrification


WHEREAS, in April 2019, the Chicago City Council approved a resolution supporting a clean energy transition plan, including a commitment to fully electrify the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus fleet by 2040; and


WHEREAS, CTA launched a strategic planning study in 2019 to evaluate the cost, infrastructure needs and impacts to service and operations associated with bus electrification; and


WHEREAS, CTA has more than 1,860 buses in its fleet, including more than 230 hybrid buses and eight electric buses; and ,


WHEREAS, on-road transportation accounted for approximately 15% of the City's carbon emissions, or 4,795,501 metric tons, according to a 2017 emissions inventory; and


WHEREAS, while transit buses are a relatively small part of carbon emissions produced by on-road transportation, they still primarily operate on diesel fuel; and


WHEREAS, one of the most harmful forms of air pollution is fine particulate matter created by on-road transportation including diesel cars, trucks, and buses; and


WHEREAS, diesel exhaust is recognized as a cancer-causing agent and is classified as a likely carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and


WHEREAS, a 2020 study by the Respiratory Health Association and Center for Spatial Data Science found that adults living within 500 meters of the bus routes with highest volumes of ridership had an asthma rate 8.4% greater than the citywide average and a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) rate 10.6% greater than the citywide average; and


WHEREAS, the report also found that adult residents living closest to any of the CTA's seven bus garages had an asthma rate more than 12% greater than the citywide average rate and a COPD rate 23.6% greater than the citywide average rate; and








WHEREAS, COPD and adult asthma rates were highest among residents living in Chicago's most vulnerable communities, including those with low-income and Black and Latinx residents, according to the report; and


WHEREAS, the Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the inequitable health disparities in Black and Latinx communities, accounting for nearly 75% of positive Covid cases and deaths in Chicago; and


WHEREAS, a 2018 report by U.S. PIRG indicated that if CTA replaced a fleet of more than 1,600 diesel buses with electric buses, it would save nearly 55,000 tons of greenhouse gases each year, equivalent to taking more than 10,000 cars off the roads; and


WHEREAS, the same report noted that CTA estimates that each electric transit bus in its fleet saves the city approximately $25,000 in fuel costs every year and provides $55,000 in health benefit savings resulting from reductions in respiratory illnesses and diseases, offsetting the higher upfront costs for electric buses over their 12-year lifespan; and


WHEREAS, in February 2020, the Chicago City Council unanimously declared a climate emergency and called for emergency mobilization, highlighting the need to significantly reduce our per capita emissions by 2030; and


WHEREAS, in March 2020, the CTA issued a request for proposals to bus manufacturers for 100 more diesel buses and options for up to 500 more in future years; now, therefore,


BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the Members ofthe City Council ofthe City of Chicago, hereby call upon the Committee on Environmental Protection & Energy to hold subject-matter hearings on CTA bus electrification, the current status of the strategic planning study, ongoing diesel bus purchasing policies, and possible funding sources for bus electrification.






Matt Martin Alderman, 47th Ward















Chicago City Council Co-Sponsor Form


Document No.:




Call for subject matter hearing(s) on status of CTA electric bus plans




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Final Copies To Be Filed With:   • Chairman of Committee to which legislation was referred

• City Clerk