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Rail News: Passenger Rail

CTA unveils high-tech farecard


Chicago Transit Authority now is a smarter transport option.

On Nov. 25, CTA launched the Chicago Card, which resembles a credit card and incorporates "smart-card" technology designed to enable customers to simply touch the card against a target on bus fareboxes and rail turnstiles, then board. The benefits: faster boarding, better fare balance protection and greater durability (the cards are designed to last four years).

CTA has a $1.5 million contract to purchase 300,000 Chicago Cards over the next three years from Cubic Transportation Systems, which owns the patent on the smart-card technology. Cubic manufactured CTA’s current automated fare collection system, which was installed in 1997.

The card "streamlines our operations while increasing convenience for our customers," said CTA President Frank Kruesi in a prepared statement.

The cards currently are available for purchase on CTA’s Web site; beginning Dec. 4, they’ll also be available for purchase at CTA’s Merchandise Mart offices or by mail.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/27/2002