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Chicago company to manufacture CTA bus seats

Humboldt Park company Freedman Seating will be producing seats for the CTA's upcoming order of more than 300 buses, Mayor Emanuel and CTA president Forrest Claypool announced Wednesday.

The fabric-covered seats are expected to be lighter in weight than current bus seats, but the design has not yet been finalized, CTA spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski said. One seat model, displayed at Wednesday's press conference, has dark blue fabric and weighs about 10 pounds less than typical CTA bus seats.

The CTA picked fabric seats as riders have "strongly favored" them because they provide a more comfortable surface, Hosinski said. Also, fabric is more difficult to deface, she said.

Freedman's seats are in 58 hybrid articulated buses purchased in 2009. Other CTA bus seats were manufactured by a Michigan company, Emanuel said.

Earlier this month, the CTA board approved the $148 million purchase of 300 to 450 buses that should be delivered next year. The order is expected to generate up to 100 new local jobs.

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