CTA to offer new fare payment options

March 11, 2013 (CHICAGO)

CTA and Pace riders got to weigh in on the system that will give them more ways to pay for their rides Monday night.

CTA headquarters hosted a public meeting where people got to ask questions and learn about the new system called Ventra, which begins this summer.

The meeting focused on the various fees that riders would have to pay.

The CTA board will vote on the proposed fees on Wednesday.

Riders can use the Ventra card that's reloadable and you only need to tap and go. Those with debit or credit cards can use their own cards.

"It's really to offer more convenience and more flexibility and to really mirror people's every day retail experience," said Lambrini Lukidis.

Ventra will start this summer. A $5 Ventra fee for the card will be refunded when you set up the card for use. Fares and reduced fares will remain the same unless you buy a paper ticket at a rail station. It will cost $3 for a one-way paper ticket at a CTA train stations.

"That is going to be the only paper ticket that will be issuing at vending machines," Lukidis said.

The payment options in an open fare system are sure to spark some confusion.

AARP Illinois represents over half a million Chicagoans over 50 and the organization's spokesman hopes CTA will offer support as riders make the transition.

"It's critical that the information is made available to all users of the public transportation system, particularly for seniors and for disabled individuals," said Gerardo Cardenas, Illinois AARP.

Seniors and disabled riders will be getting their cards in the mail with no fee.

The CTA will be accepting the current forms of payment for the next year. This is ultimately to try to reduce the amount of paper and reduce costs at CTA.

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