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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Chicago urban bus, rail system broaden SmartCard use


Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Sept. 11 awarded Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. a $5.2 million contract for additional smart card-enabled equipment. Cubic, subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corp., supplies the rechargeable farecards CTA introduced in July under a pilot program. The latest contract is an add-on to the existing $106 million contract.

SmartCards contactless cards can be used to pay all CTA bus, elevated rail and "Loop" subway fares.

Although the cards also can be used to pay Pace suburban bus fares, they’re not transferable to Metra commuter rail service.

Under latest contract terms, Cubic would install equipment at one station under construction, and 10 additional stations that are being renovated. Installation is scheduled to begin February 2001.

The contract also stipulates that equipment installed beginning February 2001 include wheelchair-accessible gates and mass-use gates, both designed to accept smart cards and magnetic-strip cards; exit gates; high-barrier security gates; smart card-enabled ticket vending machines; and information center/passenger units, which would enable passengers to check value and expiration dates of both card media.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/13/2000