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The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has won the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) 2016 Innovation Award for the Ventra fare payment app.Developed in conjunction with Metra and Chicago's suburban bus system Pace, the app is the first in the country to allow customers to pay for rides on multiple transit systems, CTA officials said in a press release.
The multi-transit system app was launched in November 2015."Leveraging technology to further improve the customer experience is a top priority at CTA and the Ventra app was developed with both Metra and Pace with that goal in mind," said CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. "This award further proves the importance that technology plays in a 21st Century transit system and we look forward to the continued development and benefits of the app in future phases to come."The app has been downloaded more than 700,000 times, and customers have used it to purchase more than $55 million in fares across CTA, Metra and Pace. Features include account management, loading of transit passes and integrated mobile ticketing on Metra. IT also provides access to real-time transit tracker information for the three agencies.Chicago's Regional Transportation Authority, which oversees the three systems, provided funding through its innovation, coordination and enhancement program.