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RTA Explores Pay-by-Cell Phone Option

By Marcus Gilmer in News on May 26, 2009 7:30PM

Cell phones and the CTA. For now, this relationship serves only one purpose: to annoy the hell out of us when people of trains and buses decided to TALK WAY TOO LOUD on their cell phones in transit. Inside voices, folks, and chances are the conversation can wait 10 minutes. But now the RTA is looking into a relationship between the two that might actually prove useful. The Tribune is reporting that the RTA hopes to one day in the very near future - as opposed to the BladeRunner future - putting in a system that allows riders to swipe their fare by cell phone rather than fare card. While the RTA is already developing a new "smart card," they're looking into a recent trial that San Francisco's BART system tried. Joseph Moriarty, the RTA's principal analyst, said, "I think it's one of the most promising technologies out there. More people carry a cell phone than carry credit or debit cards." Check out the Trib's story for more info, including what the phones in SF needed in order to correctly operate.