Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Transit Authority president Forrest Claypool last week unveiled the first of hundreds of new rail cars.

The $1.1 billion purchase of 700 cars, financed mostly with bonds, marks the first additions to the CTA’s rail fleet since 1992.

“In order for Chicago to grow, continue attracting new businesses, and increase the quality of life for all Chicagoans, we must continue to invest in public transportation, improving transit infrastructure, and expanding service,” Emanuel said in a statement.

The new cars will allow the CTA to retire cars that are decades old.

Claypool said: “Modernizing the fleet is very important and is fiscally prudent because a younger fleet requires less maintenance and allows CTA to keep the trains on the system where they are needed and not in the repair shop,”

The cars were purchased with $150 million in federal funds and through bond issues.

The agency last month sold $456 million of sales tax revenue bonds and $96 million of new-money and refunding capital grant-backed bonds to fund the purchase of the cars.

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