Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus Fee Waiver Period

March 30, 2006

The Chicago Transit Board today approved an extension of the fee waiver period for Chicago Cards to May 31, 2006. The waiver of the $5 purchase fee had been set to expire on March 31. With reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Expressway set to begin this weekend and motorists being urged to take public transit as an alternative to driving, the Board opted for an extension of the fee waiver period.

"Extending the fee waiver period for the Chicago Card and the Chicago Card Plus to help deal with the Dan Ryan construction provides added incentive to switch to public transit," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?CTA service along the Dan Ryan corridor is plentiful, with the Red, Orange and Green Lines providing rapid transit service, dozens of bus routes that connect to all three rail lines, bus routes on major north-south arterial streets and express service to downtown from the South Side."

Since the fee waiver was implemented December 1, through March 28 more than 200,000 Chicago Card Plus and Chicago Cards have been distributed to customers, with 85 percent of those being distributed in 2006.

"Customers have clearly responded to the fee waiver and the opportunity to switch to electronic fare media to make their travel faster and more efficient," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?This is an opportune time for new customers along the Dan Ryan corridor to try the CTA using the electronic farecards to make their travel easier. CTA already transports a large share of commuters in corridors served by the Dan Ryan and as a result of bus and rail initiatives in the past few years our existing service levels in the area have the capacity to meet increased demand."

Commuters who may be unfamiliar with the CTA and how it operates are encouraged to visit CTA's web site www.transitchicago.com.

Trip planning information, Park & Ride locations and rates, and information explaining CTA bus and rail fares and the use of fare media are all available online.

Value is stored on a Chicago Card, just as it is on a magnetic strip transit card, but it offers additional features such as the option of fare balance protection and faster boarding. The Chicago Card, and its account-based counterpart Chicago Card Plus, resemble credit cards and enable customers to simply touch the cards against targets on bus fareboxes and rail turnstiles, and go. The extra seconds saved for each customer make travel even more efficient as those seconds add up and shave time off the boarding process for everyone.

Information on where to purchase CTA fare media and where customers may add value to Chicago Cards is available on the fares page of CTA's web site at www.transitchicago.com.

Currently more than 200 non-CTA outlets such as Currency Exchanges, Jewel-Osco and Dominick's Finer Food stores that already provide other types of CTA fare media also offer Chicago Cards. Customers may also purchase fare media at CTA's main office at 567 West Lake Street from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., via mail, online at CTA's web site or by calling CTA Customer Service at 1-888-968-7282 (1-888 YOUR CTA).

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