These "RTS" buses were built by TMC in 1991, and were the CTA's first buses equipped with wheelchair lifts. Unlike most RTS buses which have the wheelchair lift at the rear door, CTA specified a front door wheelchair lift. #4449 is on the #22 Clark route, seen near Belmont Ave. on Clark St.
These 15 "RTS" buses, built by TMC in 1991, were slightly narrower than the 4400 series buses. They were originally built for use on the #16 Lake Street bus route, where the elevated rapid transit structure required the use of narrower buses. The Lake Street bus route was discontinued in 1997. The dimensions of this bus cannot accommodate the maneuvering of wheelchairs via a front door lift, so they are not lift equipped. These buses have had a new home since September 2000, operating on the newly introduced University of Chicago routes, using some residential streets which previously never had regular transit service. #4907 is seen southbound on Ellis Ave. at 55th St., on the #172 route.
In 2001, an overhaul program began for the ten year old TMC RTS buses, and those buses received air conditioning. Prior to receiving air conditioning, the CTA RTS buses were unusual in that they had rear windows. But the addition of air conditioning made the rear of the buses look more normal for an RTS bus. By 2002, all normal width RTS buses had received air conditioning, with the narrow 4900 series buses still awaiting air conditioning. To the left is narrow bus #4907 with a rear window, to the right is bus #4716 with air conditioning.
These Flxible "Metro" buses were built in 1991. This photo of #5462 was taken on Michigan Ave. at Ontario St. in August 1996, when the CTA provided special service for attendees of the Democratic National Convention.
In 1995 the CTA acquired 65 of these low floor buses from New Flyer in an order considerably smaller than most CTA bus orders. #5826 is on the #151 Sheridan route, seen at Diversey Ave. on Sheridan Rd. All of these buses were based at North Park Garage, and were seen on Chicago's north side.
Between 1997 and 2000, the CTA operated 3 experimental New Flyer low floor buses equipped with the Ballard fuel cell power systems. Bus #5900 was seen near Illinois Center on the #20 Madison route. Hydrogen powered these buses, the hydrogen tanks are on the roof and promote the bus as the "Clean Machine".
Flxible delivered more "Metro" buses in 1995, with some design changes from the 5300 series buses. #6010 is on the #3 King Drive route, seen at the north terminal at Fairbanks Ave. and Ontario St.