Tuesday, October 03, 2017

CTA celebrates 70th anniversary

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The Chicago Transit Authority's 4000-series heritage cars. The Chicago Transit Authority's 4000-series heritage cars. Chicago Transit Authority

The Chicago Transit Authority celebrated its 70th anniversary Oct. 1, the date when in 1947 the public agency started as owner and operator of what is the current Chicago Transit Authority bus and ‘L’ train service.

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The agency marked the occasion with a celebration in Daley Plaza for customers and transit fans.

The second-largest U.S. transit system, the CTA was created by the Illinois General Assembly to consolidate several private transit companies operating in Chicago. Today, CTA carries about 1.6 million riders on an average weekday.

“One of the things that makes Chicago one of the most famous and appealing cities in the world is the CTA and our iconic ‘L’ elevated train,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “In commemorating our 70th year as public servants serving Chicago, I am proud of CTA’s important role in everyday lives of Chicagoans and I thank all of our customers for taking transit today and for the next 70 years.”

The event featured displays of vintage CTA buses as well as rides on heritage fleet subway cars, including a pair of 4000 series cars built in 1923, and 2400-series trains dating to 1976-78. The CTA also sold commemorative paper tickets for single rides. The 4000-series cars, built by the Cincinnati Car Co., were the first steel cars to operate on the L. They were known as "plushies," for their comfortable plsuh seats. The 4000s were retired in 1973 after 50 years of servcie.

CTA earlier celebrated the 125th anniversary of the ‘L’ on June 6, 2017; the city's first elevated train line was built in 1892 between Congress and 39th Street, ahead of the World’s Fair the following year.

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