January 9, 2002

The Chicago Transit Board today approved Mobility Direct, a six-month pilot program that expands the CTA's Taxi Access Program (TAP) and provides voucherless subscription service for customers with disabilities. Currently, vouchers are required for participation in TAP.

Mobility Direct is a door-to-door subscription service. The pilot program will provide a more convenient option for subscription customers who take at least three round trips weekly and it enables the CTA to meet increasing demand for paratransit service in a cost-efficient way.

The pilot program will kick off in February 2002, and partners the CTA with Checker Taxi Association and up to 265 paratransit customers. Mobility Direct allows these customers to take a taxi ride to their destinations without having to pre-purchase TAP vouchers. Checker was selected by the CTA because of its advanced technology that supports operating a voucherless system. Instead of vouchers, the CTA will authorize customer trips electronically.

CTA Chairman Valerie B. Jarrett stated, "The Mobility Direct pilot program is a prime example of the CTA expanding existing paratransit services to better match the needs of our customers with disabilities. Through Mobility Direct, we are able to offer customers more travel flexibility by taking advantage of technology that allows us to operate a voucherless TAP program."

CTA President Frank Kruesi added, "We believe Mobility Direct will provide an incentive for customers who frequently use the Special Services program to use taxicabs since they offer direct, non-stop transportation to and from a destination for $1.50 each way."

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