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Chicago Transit Authority inks deal with Groupon to attract new riders


Yesterday, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) unveiled a new program to offer a discounted three-day pass to riders through Groupon, marking the first-ever partnership between the Chicago-based deal website and a U.S. transit agency to sell fare media.

The discount will be offered starting at month’s end, CTA officials said in a prepared statement.

Under the arrangement, Groupon will purchase a total of 250,000 three-day passes for $1.89 million. Each pass will be sold for $7.53 wholesale and offered to Groupon members for $9 instead of $14, the current price of a three-day pass. The offer will limit purchases to four per person, and Groupon will own the cards it purchases until they are sold. CTA will receive an upfront payment for the fare cards.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel described the arrangement as “exciting for many reasons.”

“It will generate nearly $2 million of immediate, additional revenue for CTA; it will introduce and attract new potential customers for CTA; and is an innovative example of the government and business community working together to benefit the entire city,” he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/14/2012