March 19, 2004

Chicago Transit Authority customers who use magnetic strip farecards to board the system will be seeing the virtues of the CTA's newest electronic farecard, the Chicago Card Plus, promoted on standard farecards beginning March 19. In an effort to reach individual CTA customers and detail the features of Chicago Card Plus, the CTA is promoting the new cards directly to Transit Card users. Promotional farecards will be sold in farecard vending machines at CTA rail stations until April 19, or while supplies last.

Through the end of March, both the Chicago Card Plus and the Chicago Card are free to customers. On April 1, CTA will reinstate the $5 fee for purchase of the cards. Both bus and rail customers are encouraged to take advantage of the benefits provided by electronic farecards such as fare balance protection and the convenience of touch-and-go fare payment.

In addition, only the Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus will continue to offer the 10 percent bonus to customers after April 1. All three farecards maintained the bonus from January through the end of March, but the magnetic strip farecards will no longer offer this benefit starting April 1.

The Chicago Card Plus features online account management, automatic reloading via a customer's credit card, fare balance protection, a 10 percent bonus and the convenience of touch-and-go fare payment. In addition, customers can opt between two fare choices with Chicago Card Plus, Pay-Per-Use or 30-Day-Pass.

The Chicago Card also features fare balance protection if customers register their cards, a $1 bonus for every $10 of added value, the efficiency of touch-and-go boarding and the ability to add value at any of CTA's farecard vending machines.

The Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus can be ordered online, through the mail, by calling 1-888-YOUR-CTA (1-888-968-7282), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. or at CTA's main offices on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart.

In addition, order forms are included in Chicago Card Plus sales brochures found on CTA buses, at CTA rail stations and at CTA headquarters on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart. Order forms are also available online at www.chicago-card.com.

Since the Chicago Card Plus was launched in January, nearly 27,000 customers have taken advantage of the fee waiver and switched. This is in addition to the more than 45,000 customers who are using the original Chicago Card to pay their fares.

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Media note: An electronic image of the promotional farecard is available through CTA Media Relations.

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