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Humboldt Park firm to produce lighter weight CTA seats, adding 100 jobs

A Humboldt Park company will be producing new lighter weight bus seats for the CTA, adding at least 100 jobs to the Chicago area and improving the transit system’s fuel efficiency, officials said Wednesday.

Forward-facing seats will be a quarter-inch narrower, aisle-facing seats will be three-quarters of an inch wider and most CTA riders will gain a quarter inch of legroom, said Dan Cohen, vice president of Freedman Seating.

Overall the new configuration will make each of at least 300 new buses 190 pounds lighter, Cohen said.

And that translates into better fuel efficiency, CTA President Forrest Claypool noted at a news conference with Freedman officials and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel said Freedman, a 120-year-old company based in Humboldt Park, has been producing bus seats for New York City and Los Angeles and now will be supplying the three largest transit systems in the country.

Claypool said the improvements are part of a plan to replace or overhaul every bus in the CTA fleet in the next few years.



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