The Chicago Transit Authority has plans to offer a fare card that also has the ability to work as an open-loop prepaid card, but the open-loop side is drawing criticism for its fee structure.
From the Chicago Tribune:
A long list of convenience fees and other unexpected charges awaits CTA and Pace Ventra fare-card customers who sign up for an optional prepaid debit card account, a Tribune analysis of the more than 1,000-page CTA contract reveals.
The agreement the CTA reached with its private-sector partners looks like a good one for the perennially cash-strapped transit agency, which will receive a continuous stream of nonfare revenue generated by the host of debit card fees.
The CTA program is the latest in transit agencies looking for ways to move away from cash and towards reloadable and contactless fare media. The cards have potential to become part of customers’ daily routines as a commuting and spending device, but as the CTA example shows, they face close scrutiny from the public and have hurdles for successful implementation.
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