April 14, 2004

The Chicago Transit Board today approved a contract to sell approximately 20 million obsolete CTA fare tokens for scrap metal. The sale will generate approximately $157,000 in additional revenue for the CTA.

?Transit agencies everywhere are operating in a tough economic environment and any additional revenue helps us to control costs," said CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?CTA staff continue to come up with creative ways to generate revenue that contributes to strengthening our financial position."

?Our top priority is providing service that is on time, clean, safe and friendly," added Chicago Transit Board Chairman Carole Brown. ?Improving the operating budget by selling property that is no longer useful to the CTA demonstrates our resourceful approach to operations."

The old tokens have been in a secured storage facility since they became obsolete in 1998. The CTA phased out the tokens with the introduction of the popular magnetic strip Transit Card and the use of Transit Card Vending Machines in 1997. The transition to an electronic farecard system proved successful since its implementation in 1997.

Osbourne Coinage Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded the competitively bid contract to purchase 132,642 pounds of old full fare, half fare and parking lot tokens. Each token will be cut in half and left with jagged edges in order to prevent use on other transit systems still accepting the fare medium. The company is required to provide the CTA with a Certificate of Destruction.

The CTA will retain approximately 2,000 old tokens for creating novelty jewelry such as tie tacks, cufflinks, bracelets and necklaces, sold through the CTA's Gift Express program.

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