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Chicago Transit Officials Test Smartphone Payments for Trains and Buses

Excerpt from Chicago Tribune

Jan 09, 2014 4:00 am

Skift Take

The NYC MTA also recently detailed its plans for introducing mobile transit payments, making the next-generation passes a common goal for U.S. cities who could learn more from working together than competing.

— Samantha Shankman

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Michael Miley  / Flickr

Chicago CTA Train turns around a bend on the railroad track. Michael Miley / Flickr


The CTA and its fare-collection contractor, Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., are testing the smartphone payment method, one that has been a goal the transit agency set long before it hired Cubic in 2011 to develop and manage the Ventra fare-payment system. Ventra allows riders on the CTA and Pace to use personal credit and debit cards that have contactless technology, as well as Ventra cards or cash to pay fares on buses and at rail stations.

On the CTA and Pace, Ventra will eventually allow riders to load fare value onto payment-enabled mobile devices.

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