CTA to start $2 billion railcar procurement program with plan for job creation

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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced in July plans to modernize up to 846 of its 25-year-old rail cars under a nearly $2 billion “Build Chicago” project, a partnership between the CTA and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

“The jobs disclosure and evaluation tools used in this purchase can improve Chicago’s transit system, create good jobs, and revive Illinois’ manufacturing economy, all at the same time,” Chicago Federation of Labour president Jorge Ramirez was quoted as saying in Metro Magazine. “This approach to transit procurement, as outlined by the Jobs to Move America coalition, creates more competition between companies vying to create good American jobs.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel shares similar views on the project. The initiative has the potential to support as many as 20,000 good American jobs.

The CTA expects to receive bids for the new 7000-series ‘L’ railcars later this year. With the initial bid for 200 railcars by 2018, the rest will be manufactured in several large groups over the next eight years. The original Oct. 2013 bid failed as only two companies submitted proposals.

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