September 22, 2004

Customers who use the Chicago Transit Authority and the Pace suburban bus system now have greater fare options as the result of a new Intergovernmental Agreement between CTA, Pace and the Regional Transportation Authority. Under the new initiative Pace will begin accepting CTA's 7-day pass, University Pass (U-Pass), and 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, and 5-day Visitor Passes. The passes will not be valid for Pace's subscription or vanpool services. Some express routes operated by Pace also may require an additional surcharge.

Currently Pace accepts CTA's 30-day full and reduced fare cards, transit cards, Chicago Card, Chicago Card Plus and the Paratransit monthly pass.

The program begins as a pilot Thursday, September 23 and will continue through December 31, 2005. It was approved by the Chicago Transit Board at its monthly meeting today and also has been approved by the Pace and RTA Boards. The RTA will reimburse Pace up to $2 million per year for the use of CTA fare cards on Pace's regular bus routes.

"I want to thank the RTA for encouraging more interagency fare integration," said Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?This agreement builds on the connections between our systems and will allow for seamless transfers. CTA is pleased to be working alongside Pace and the RTA to make public transit a more attractive and viable alternative to driving."

?Nearly two million customers daily use some combination of CTA, Pace and Metra to get to and from destinations throughout the six-county region," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?This is a win-win situation for CTA and Pace customers, and demonstrates our commitment to regional cooperation between our agencies as we work to provide the high level of service all of our customers deserve."

?This type of teamwork leads to great benefits for commuters throughout the region," said Pace Executive Director T.J. Ross. ?More riders will turn to public transit when our fast and dependable services are even simpler to use."

?This agreement between CTA, Pace and the RTA will allow transit riders to use one fare card which will enhance commuters? convenience and improve public transportation usage in the region," said Paula Thibeault, RTA Executive Director. ?This is a first step. RTA is working with CTA, Metra and Pace on a study to determine the feasibility and cost of implementing a full system Universal Fare card in the region. This study will be completed at year end."

At the end of the pilot period, the RTA will assess the success of the program to determine whether it should become permanent.

CTA revenue personnel will work with Pace to ensure Pace's fare equipment is programmed to accept the additional CTA fare cards.

The Chicago Transit Authority is the nation's second largest public transit system, serving Chicago and surrounding suburbs. The CTA is committed to meeting the transportation needs of the region by providing quality and affordable transit service for all of its customers.

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