The Chicago Transit Board approved the purchase of 15 additional state-of-the-art farecard vending machines to provide customers with easier access to Chicago Transit Authority fare media. One of the key features of the new vending machines is that they accept credit and debit cards as well as cash.
In addition, the new machines provide audio and visual instructions in English and Spanish, and have instructions in Braille and raised lettering for people with disabilities. CTA plans to install the 15 machines at select CTA rail stations and non-CTA sales outlets by the end of 2007.
“These new vending machines will provide customers with more fare payment options through the use of state-of-the-art technology,” said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. “We will determine which locations for the machines will be the most beneficial to existing CTA customers and will help attract new customers to the ease of using public transit.”
“Electronic fare media is the most affordable and fastest way to ride CTA,” said CTA President Frank Kruesi. “The new vending machines will add to the convenience by eliminating the need to have cash in order to purchase farecards.”
Since 2005, new vending machines with the credit/debit card feature have been installed at Cumberland, Rosemont and O’Hare stations on the Blue Line, Midway station on the Orange Line, Chicago Avenue station on the Red Line (at State) the Water Works Visitor Center and Union Station. Union Station is served by both Metra and Amtrak trains and many travelers connect to CTA bus and rail service when arriving downtown.
The $644,674 contract for the purchase of the new vending machines is with GFI Genfare, a unit of SPX Corporation based in Charlotte, North Carolina. To maintain the compatibility of the CTA’s existing farecard vending system, CTA determined that it was disadvantageous to public bidding to advertise a contract for the project.
Funding for the new machine purchase will come from CTA capital funds provided by the Regional Transportation Authority.