The Chicago Transit Board approved an important upgrade to its newest 5000 series rail cars that will benefit visually impaired customers. Chimes will be added to let passengers know when doors are opening, in addition to the chimes that now play when doors are closing.
The CTA decided to provide the additional audio cues to assist passengers after receiving feedback from customers who indicated they had trouble locating train car doors from the platform.
“This issue was brought to our attention because the new and improved rail cars were so quiet, some visually impaired customers had difficulty hearing the doors opening,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “The valuable feedback led us to seek the door chime modification to ensure the new ADA features we’re providing on the 5000 series work in the best possible way for our customers.”
The modification requires a software change that will be made to the entire purchase order of 706 rail cars. All new cars currently in Chicago will undergo a retro-fit, which will not impact operations.
The change order for the door chimes are at no additional cost to the CTA.
Bombardier Transportation, a recognized leader in the manufacturing of mass transit vehicles, provides the 5000 series cars. To date, 126 cars have been delivered and are currently deployed on the Green and Pink Lines
The total cost of the rail cars $1.137 billion, which is funded by two CTA bond issuances backed by sales tax receipts. The remainder is paid for by $150 million in federal funds.