CTA Approves Contactless Payments System

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CTA Approves Contactless Payments System

The Chicago Transit Authority continues to add payment options, with a vote by its board of directors on Nov. 15 to install an electronic fare-collection system.

The system would accept contactless credit, debit, and prepaid cards, which would be tapped on electronic readers to make the payment. Contactless payments through mobile phones will also be supported. Currently, the CTA supports payments using magnetic stripe cards, contactless cards, and cash.

The board awarded the contract to Cubic Transportation Systems,  San Diego, which operates the current system. Contactless payment systems using both cards and phones are widespread in Europe and Asia.

The new system is expected to be operational in late 2013 and will serve as a model for the RTA and Pace. Transportation authorities in the region were required to build compatible payment systems under a bill signed by Gov. Quinn in July.