The moribund Chicago Transit Authority fare collection system will soon be getting an upgrade.
Behold: debit cards over fare cards.
The CTA Board on Tuesday approved a $454 million, 12-year contract to install new fare collection kiosks that will interact with credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid cards and eventually cell phones.
The company that makes the new boxes, Cubic, is the same as the one who made the previous boxes. The board is expected to approve their proposal Tuesday. Officials said the Cubic proposal was significantly less than the next competitive bid.
New fare collection systems could be in place as early as 2013.
The move is expected to save the CTA millions of dollars in operating costs because the system would allow the authority to cease its fee processing arm.
The contract was approved as part of the agency's entire 2012 budget.