Donald Ray Bond, Vice President of the Rolling Stock and Maintenance Engineering Department of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
Mafex: Chicago Transit Authority works on major network improvements. What plans are there in the medium and long term?
Donald R. Bonds: Since 2011, a significant progress has been made on Chicago’s Red Line. At present, the Wilson station and tracks are being reconstructed, a project amounting to 203 million dollars, and the “95th Street Terminal Improvement”, which has a budget of 280 million, is being improved and extended. There are also numerous plans for the Chicago Metro. The planned improvements include the rehabilitation of 40 rail stations and the construction of four new rail stations. 70 plus miles (60 kilometers) of track will be also renovated and new 7000 series trains will be purchased, the technology will be modernized and the 4G wireless system will be implemented in subways.
Mafex: Is there any progress regarding the RPM project? What does it consist of?
D.B.: This is the modernization of the red and purple network (Red Purple Modern Project). Phase I, with a budget of 2,100 million US dollars (€ 1,777 M), includes works, such as the bypass near Belmont, improvements in the signaling system from Belmont to Howard, as well as the modernization of Lawrence-Bryn Mawr line. Chicago Transit has received $1 billion US dollars from the federal government to fully fund this project. The procurment phase of this project has begun. This and other initiatives open up new procurement opportunities for Chicago’s future infrastructure improvement projects. On the blue line, the Belmont Gateway and Jefferson station will be renovated for 42 million US dollars (€ 35.3 M) and the signaling project for O’Hare Blue Line amounting to 197 million (€ 166 M).