Chicago City Council approves transition to 100 percent renewable energy

April 15, 2019
The city will transition to renewable energy by 2035 with CTA's entire fleet of buses to be electric by 2040.

The Chicago City Council approved a resolution on April 10 to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 with the Chicago Transit Authority's (CTA) bus fleet to be 100 percent electric by 2040. Chicago becomes the largest city so far to make the commitment to renewable energy. 

The city will develop a plan of transition no later than December 2020, which will outline key strategies, set progression milestones and develop a timeline for reaching an equitable clean energy transition. The resolution said the commitment to energy transition is "an opportunity to build equity for communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in the energy field and marketplace as the city of Chicago is committed to maximizing opportunities to right inequity, particularly in impacted communities."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced his Resilient Chicago plan in February calling for the transition to renewable energy. 

At the time of its release, the mayor's office said Resilient Chicago was developed over the course of two and a half years in partnership with local residents, civic and community leaders, and a Steering Committee of over 40 leaders from the public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic sectors. 

The CTA introduced the first electric bus to its fleet in 2014 and in June 2018, the Chicago Transit Board awarded a $32 million contract for the purchase of 20 new, all-electric buses. 

“For more than century, Chicago’s public transit system has connected people, communities, jobs, opportunities and has helped shape the City of Chicago as we know it today,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr., at the time Resilient Chicago was released “CTA  is proud to be an integral part of Mayor Emanuel’s vision to make Chicago one of the greenest cities in the world; and we will continue our role of helping shape this great city and its future by committing to  transition to an all-electric bus fleet by 2040.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.