For customer convenience, CTA is installing new express farecard vending machines that will allow customers to use credit cards to purchase and add value to CTA farecards. The express farecard machines accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card and American Express credit cards, as well as debit cards that have an accompanying credit card logo.
Using the express farecard machines, customers will be able to purchase magnetic strip transit cards and add value to either magnetic strip transit cards or Chicago Card.
When paying with credit card or an applicable debit card, the minimum value that can be added to a magnetic strip transit card or Chicago Card is $5. As a security measure, the maximum value that can be charged to a credit card is $25 each calendar day.
"Allowing customers the option of using credit cards is one more way we are trying to improve service and be responsive to their needs," said CTA President Ron Huberman. "Investing in the new express farecard vending machines is just the first step we are taking in upgrading and modernizing stations for riders. The CTA will continue to look for ways to integrate credit cards and technology into our fare media strategy."
The first five of 60 machines are located at O'Hare station (Blue Line), Merchandise Mart (Brown and Purple Express Lines), Clark/Lake (Loop), Adams/Jackson (Blue Line) and Midway (Orange Line).
Following a 30-day testing period, the remaining 55 express farecard machines are expected to be installed over the next four months at more than 45 CTA rail stations.
Adding the new express vending machines to stations will allow CTA to relocate some of the existing cash-based farecard vending machines to stations that currently have only one machine available, improving access for customers at those stations.
The machines were purchased as part of a larger contract with Cubic Transportation Systems that also included the purchase of 30 wheelchair accessible turnstiles and additional parts to maintain the new equipment once installed. Funding for the $4.47 million purchase of the express vending machines is from CTA bonds.
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