CTA Plans iPhone Fare Card

Chicagoans will be able to pay for rides with their phone

By Jennifer Schwarz
|  Thursday, Aug 26, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM CDT
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There’s an app for just about everything these days, and if CTA officials have their way, Chicagoans will be able to use their cell phones to pay for rides on local buses and trains. 

Part of a proposed "open fare collection system" the CTA would like to see something called the iFare app which would allow riders to tap their smart phone on a pay pad and board the train, according to the Sun-Times.

A similar system is already common in Europe and Asia.  

While very cutting edge, the upgrade is actually a cost-saving measure.  It would dramatically cut back the cost of printing and selling tickets, and could increase ridership.  The city is currently accepting proposals from a dozen bank and credit card companies that want to install the systems free of charge. 

A second round of bidding will take place later this year.

CTA currently provides more than 1.7 million rides daily, according to figures provided by the organization.

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