Shocking Developments at Navy Pier. If You’re a CTA Bus.

Some people are content to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic working from home in their sweatpants.  Others crave returning to the office.  Sometimes because this much family time is too much family time, or as a co-worker recently confided in a Teams meeting — paying for his own coffee is getting really expensive.

If you’re among those who plan to resume shaving and bathing soon, you may return to work on a Chicago Transit Authority bus.  And that CTA bus might be electrified.

The CTA began migrating its fleet of buses to electric power six years ago.  The transit agency — and 70’s rock band namesake — says an electric bus is $54,000 cheaper to run each year than one powered by liquified dinosaurs.  But you can’t just slap 156,000 Duracells into the back of a 50-seater to make the thing go.  Which is why this past Spring we told you about plans for a CTA charging station at Navy Pier.  Now, here it is.

October 2020 construction of the CTA's Navy Pier bus charging station.
October 2020 construction of the CTA’s Navy Pier bus charging station.

The feature peepers at YoChicago! sent in this photograph of construction progress on the CTA charging station at Navy Pier.  The charging battery was designed just down the street by Johnson Lasky Kindelin Architects

At first, only two buses at a time will be able suckle on the tingly teats.  But the foundations are being laid for more berths.  Total recharge time is about ten minutes.  Much less than the 48 hours in Palm Springs it takes this human being to recharge.

Location: 590 East Grand Avenue, Streeterville

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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