Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tribune: CTA, Pace will share new fare card, beginning next summer

As a regular CTA rider, I should be upset that they're already about to get rid of the Chicago Card already. Though there shouldn't be many complaints on that end from because all I never had to pay for them myself! Although it's probably way past time for RTA agencies (CTA, Metra, & Pace) to start getting on the same page as far as fare media:
Starting next summer CTA and Pace riders will have the option to pay fares with credit and debit cards as well as a new smart card system called Ventra, transit officials announced Thursday.

New Ventra tickets will be used for single-ride and 1-day passes. Customers will be able to load their Ventra cards with various amounts, as well as using them for 30-day and 7-day passes. The value on the cards can be replenished, similar to current CTA smart cards.

CTA and Pace riders will also have the option to use personal debit and credit cards equipped with a microchip.

The process is intended to be more convenient and speed up boarding, particularly on buses.

Passengers will tap their contactless payment card against the fare reader. It's similar to the CTA Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus smart cards that have been in use for years.

In 2014, all CTA and Pace fare media, including the Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus, will be replaced with Ventra.

Customers will eventually be able to use mobile phones to pay transit fares.
Like I said, it's a long time in coming. If I wanted to travel on Metra in addition to CTA & Pace there shouldn't be much difference in my ability to pay. Especially if I have a farecard from a sister agency. They'll work those details out I'm sure!

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