December 29, 2003

The Chicago Transit Authority's new fare structure will go into effect on Thursday, January 1. A 25 cent increase to the base bus and rail fare, a five cent reduction in the price of a transfer from 30 cents to 25 cents, no change to the price of multi-day passes, and elimination of the 25 cent surcharge on express bus routes are the key changes. The new structure will enable the CTA to continue to provide the high level of service it has worked hard to achieve and ensure a public transit system designed to serve customers into the future.

"CTA developed its new fare structure after many months of research and analysis to find the best way to minimize the impact on customers while providing sufficient revenue to maintain current service levels and improve services as needed," said CTA President Frank Kruesi.

When all fare media, from cash, to cards, to passes is considered, the CTA's average fare is projected to increase from 82 cents a ride to 87 cents.

Full Fare

Full fare for bus and rail service increases from $1.50 to $1.75. The fare may be paid in cash, or with a Transit Card or Chicago Card. The Chicago Cards continue to offer a 10 percent bonus for every $10 of value added. Transit Cards will continue to offer a 10 percent bonus for every $10 of value added only until the new Chicago Card Plus farecard becomes available in early 2004.

Full Fare Transfer

The full fare transfer decreases from 30 cents to 25 cents for both bus and rail service. The transfer allows two additional rides within two hours of issue.

Full Fare Passes and Visitor Passes

Prices of multi-day passes and Visitor Passes remain unchanged.

Express Surcharge

The 25-cent Express Surcharge on bus routes #2, #6, #14 and #147 from downtown is eliminated.

Rush Shuttle Fares

The Rush Shuttle fare remains $1. Rush Shuttle fares apply on certain bus routes during morning and evening rush hours between downtown Metra stations and the surrounding areas.

Reduced Fares

CTA will continue to offer a range of reduced fares for use by children ages 7-11; grade school and high school students with CTA Student Riding Permits; and seniors and riders with disabilities with RTA Reduced Fare Permits or Cards. The new reduced fares are as follows:

Reduced Fare increases from 75 cents to 85 cents for both bus and rail service.

Reduced Fare Transit Cards will continue to provide a 10 percent bonus only until Reduced Fare Chicago Cards become available. Once the Reduced Fare Chicago Cards are available, the bonus on Reduced Fare Transit Cards will be discontinued.

Reduced Fare Transfers remain unchanged at 15 cents. Transfers allow two additional rides within two hours of issue.

Reduced Fare 30-Day Passes remain unchanged at $35.

Special Services, Taxi Access Program, Mobility Direct

Fares for curbside van service, for taxi service using pre-paid vouchers and for voucherless taxi service for recurring trips increases from $1.50 to $1.75.

Paratransit 30-Day Pass

The Paratransit 30-Day Pass remains unchanged at $75.

The fare increase is part of the CTA's 2004 $936.6 million operating budget. For the past several years, the CTA has worked diligently to deliver on its mission while operating in an increasingly tough economic environment.

Since 1998, CTA has increased service substantially making improvements to two-thirds of its bus routes on the West, North and South Sides and on all of its seven rail routes. Improvements have included creating new bus routes; adding service on existing bus routes; adding service on 'L' Lines and reopening stations; improving station facilities; and increasing accessibility.

The backbone of improved service is the CTA's commitment to renew, maintain and operate its fleet of buses and rail cars; the CTA is receiving new buses on an ongoing basis and overhauling hundreds of buses in the existing fleet. Last year, CTA completed a four-year process to upgrade half of its rail fleet and continues to do the same for its bus fleet.

The 2004 budget continues to build upon the momentum of the past six years, with programs and projects to help replace the aging infrastructure and provide quality service to CTA customers.

A new brochure, A Guide to CTA's New Fare Structure, is available on CTA buses and at rail stations, as well as at the CTA main office on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart. It is also available on the CTA's web site, www.transitchicago.com, under the brochure section. Customers with questions regarding changes in the CTA fare structure can contact CTA customer service at 1-888-YOUR-CTA.

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