CTA Approves Contract for Next Generation Bus Farebox System

October 14, 2022

Transit agency will soon replace its aging bus farebox system with a new, updated version to increase efficiencies for both customers and the agency.

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a contract to develop and implement a new integrated farebox system on all CTA buses. The new fareboxes are part of the Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) ongoing efforts to modernize customer tools and offer seamless fare payment options for all riders.

CTA’s current fareboxes are more than 30 years old, and after decades of heavy use, the existing farebox system is obsolete, deteriorating and increasingly difficult to maintain. Also, by replacing this obsolete equipment that is prone to defects, the CTA will experience fewer instances in which buses are delayed or pulled from service, which can impact the reliability of service.

“While many are eager to move to a cash-less society, these new fareboxes will allow CTA to maintain the critically important and equitable cash fare option for riders. More than 9 million rides are paid for with cash each year,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “All of our riders deserve payment options that meet their needs. This new farebox system will serve to modernize our cash fare collections, and also complement the continuous upgrades we’re making to our Ventra system.”

Under the vision and leadership of CTA President Carter, equity and inclusion are a factor in every decision made by the agency—from service changes to job and contracting opportunities. The awarding of today’s contract is the latest investment in support of this vision. By improving and modernizing farebox collections, CTA is ensuring critical access to transit services for the unbanked or underbanked in the region, while also improving its daily operations.

The new fareboxes will feature an ergonomic, modern, accessible design coupled with improved back-end reporting systems, which will allow for seamless integration with Ventra and other on-board bus operating systems, providing for more efficient operations at CTA’s bus garages.

These new fareboxes are the latest in a series of innovations the CTA has launched to modernize and improve its fare collection systems and customer engagement tools, including the new, fully redesigned Ventra app, Ventra Cards on iPhone, Apple Watch, and Google Pay, Express Vending Machines, portable fareboxes and much more.

The roughly $41 million contract was awarded to Scheidt & Bachmann following a competitive procurement process, and incudes costs for the new equipment, software and installation, as well as five years of ongoing support with warranty and  the option to extend in the future. The ongoing preventive maintenance will be performed by local service technicians at a facility in the region. The 10.47% Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) commitment exceeds the DBE goal of 8%, and will include subcontractors who are located in the Chicagoland region and the U.S.


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