CTA introduces next-generation fareboxes for improved bus travel experience

Posted: 16 February 2024 | | No comments yet

The Chicago Transit Authority initiates trials for next-generation fareboxes, promising smoother transactions and enhanced operational efficiency in its bid to modernise public transit.

CTA introduces next-generation fareboxes for improved bus travel experience

In an effort to modernise Chicago’s public transit system, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has announced that it has initiated trials for new fareboxes on in-service buses, marking a significant leap in enhancing user experience and operational efficiency.

The existing fareboxes, having served commuters for over three decades, are being phased out in favour of a more sophisticated, on-board bus operating system. This new system promises riders a smoother transaction process, particularly for those paying with cash, while also streamlining operations at CTA’s bus depots.

“Updating the farebox systems is greatly needed to modernise the front and back ends of our bus operations,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We are always striving to provide our customers with a more convenient travel experience, in this case that includes improved fare transactions, as well as well as more reliable equipment.”

The next-generation farebox boasts a user-friendly display screen and audio cues reminiscent of the Ventra card validators employed on the rail network. Furthermore, it can seamlessly record ridership data, revenue and identify any farebox malfunctions. These enhancements are poised to revolutionise CTA’s data collection methods, empowering the agency with invaluable insights to enhance everyday customer experiences.

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The initial phase of the programme will witness the installation and field testing of 100 updated buses throughout Spring 2024. These buses, stationed at CTA’s Chicago Avenue Garage on the West Side, cater to some of the busiest routes in the system, including #12 Roosevelt, #20 Madison, #53 Pulaski, #65 Grand and #66 Chicago.

With a fleet of over 1,800 buses systemwide, CTA plans to gradually introduce the new equipment across its entire fleet following successful testing. This roll-out is scheduled to commence in Summer 2024 and extend through the end of the year.

The Chicago Transit Board approved the awarding of a $41 million contract to Scheidt & Bachmann during its October 2022 meeting, following a rigorous procurement process. This contract encompasses the expenses for the new equipment, software, installation and includes five years of ongoing support with warranty, with the option for future extensions.

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