Chicago is preparing a major upgrade to the way consumers will pay for local transit. Beginning in 2013, the Chicago Transit Authority will adopt an open-fare system that enables commuters to use a personal credit or debit card, or a special prepaid transit card that features contactless technology.
The new system, dubbed Ventra, will come in the form of a debit/credit card equipped with a “contactless chip.” Much like Chicago Cards, the CTA said customers will need only tap their cards to board trains and buses. The system is expected to launch in the summer of 2013.
Chicago’s effort to modernize its transportation payment system aligns with other major initiatives in cities around the United States including New York and Boston. Mobile also is mentioned as a component in these cities.
Following the lead of major cities like London, the economic pressures on public transportation and parking systems in addition to consumers’ reduced use of cash, all point to a domino effect taking place in this market relative to enabling electronic payment.
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