Wednesday, November 16, 2011
"Backbone" of universal fare system to take root with automated payments on trains and buses.
Those flimsy, easy-to-lose CTA fare cards will soon be history. Officials with the agency on Tuesday approved a deal that will bring new technology to CTA buses and train stations allowing users to tap debit cards, credit cards and prepaid CTA cards to pay their fares. According to the Sun-Times, commuters will eventually "be able to use their cell phones in the same manner to pay for their fares." The system, operated by the San-Diego based Cubic Transportation Systems, is expected to save the CTA about $5 million a year by "finally getting the CTA out of the fare-collection and banking businesses," according to Chicago Tribune transportation writer John Hilkevitch. The city's $454 million contract with Cubic will last 12 years. According…
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Budget cuts force limitations on seniors' free public transportation rides.
Know a senior citizen who relies on free public transportation to get around? That's about to change. Beginning Sept. 1, the Regional Transit Authority's "Seniors Ride Free" program will expire for all senior citizens except those defined as "low-income" using standards adopted from Illinois Department on Aging "Circuit Breaker" program. All other seniors will pay a discounted, half-price, fare. Related Video: Seniors Voice Opinions on RTA Free Ride Changes The Seniors Ride Free program, enacted in 2008 by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has been targeted for cuts in light of both the state's ailing finances and the transportation agencies' budget woes. A 2009 Chicago Tribune story quotes a UIC study estimating the programs impact — free …
Friday, July 8, 2011
Chicagoland commuters should have a more seamless way to use the three transit agencies by 2015.
A universal fare card system for RTA, Metra and Pace transportation systems was signed into legislation by Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday, according to the Chicago Daily Herald. The bill will "allow riders to use credit or debit cards or prepaid cards on all transit systems effective Jan. 1, 2015." "This is 21st century transit reform," Quinn said during the signing ceremony, according to The Chicago Tribune. “Now it's the law and everyone will work toward that date,” RTA deputy executive director of communications Diane Palmer told the Herald. “This is obviously a key priority for the RTA.” Additionally, the law calls for Metra to create a train tracking system that is similar to the Chicago Transit Authorities' Bus and Train Tracker programs, …
Monday, June 20, 2011
Most seniors at a recent RTA meeting said they are OK to pay for transit.
The Regional Transit Authority, which oversees the CTA, Metra and Pace, held an informational meeting concerning upcoming changes to the Seniors Ride Free program Thursday afternoon at the Levy Senior Center in Evanston. Officials from all transportation services were on hand to hear questions and concerns about the changes that will go into effect Sept. 1. The Seniors Ride Free program will now be known as the Seniors Circuit Ride Free program and the Seniors Reduced Fare program. To qualify for the Circuit Ride Ride Free program a senior would need to make less than $27, 610 individually, $36,635 for a two-person household, or $45,657 for a household of three or more. Diane Palmer, the RTA's deputy executive director of communications, …
Thursday, April 14, 2011
A roundup of the region’s major developments for Thursday, April 14.
Here's what's going on in Patch sites around you: NEW DETAILS: Carjacking Ends in Fatal Crash, Police Charge Surviving Offender. Woman Struck by CTA Bus VIDEO: 10th Annual Hockey Exchange Brings Together Swedes And Local Boys. High School Students Make Underage Drinking Message Stick. VIDEO: 'Wall Street 2' Writer Joins Many Others at Focus on the Arts.