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CTA Considering Credit Card Fare Payment System

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 15, 2011 2:35PM


CTA President Forrest Claypool will ask the transit agency's board of directors to approve a 12-year, $454 million contract that will finally allow riders to pay fares via credit and debit cards and, ultimately, mobile phones.

CTA has been slowly working toward this for a while and, if the board approves, it could be implemented in a couple of years. The contract would be awarded to Cubic Transportation Systems, which installed CTA's current fare collection system.

Cubic has implemented similar fare collection strategies in Europe and Asia to positive reviews and the measure, if approved, would be downright progressive in Chicago. Tribune transportation reporter Jon Hilkevitch reports that, unlike the parking meter deal, CTA would keep all fares collected and, if it works well, could serve as a model for a universal fare card to be used for CTA, Metra and Pace.