CTA asks for rider opinions on various new fare scenario/increases in survey

The CTA is gathering information via a rider survey about fare payment options it may have to put into place if ongoing negotiations with unions fail to fill the $80 million hole in this year's budget.

I received the survey last week. Below you see screen shots of various fare options on which the CTA sought rider input via the survey.

A new twist the CTA seems to be considering is to charge a rush-hour premium of 35 cents or 70 cents. The survey also asked about basic fares of $2.50, $3 and $3.50. Costs for transfers ranged from free to $1. The CTA survey also reintroduced the $2 bonus for every $20 put on a transit or Chicago Card. Prices for 30-day passes ranged from the current $86 to $107 to $150.

Certainly there are a wide variety of fare options under consideration. And financial analysts are crunching the numbers to determine how much more revenue such payment models would bring.


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  • Vinny had posted this on chicagobus.org on Thursday. And since several of the options were inconsistent with an open fare system, we quickly figured out that this was laying the foundation for the July 2012 fare increase, as you figured out.

  • Option 3 seems like the most reasonable...or maybe that's just because I like round numbers. Never have enjoyed calculating $2.25 rides and $.25 transfers on the fly.

  • I didn't see & still want those paying cash to pay more than those of us using cards.
    With buses, cash payers hold up the line & slow down the bus.
    Make them pay for that.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    I don't think CTA has to survey riders whether they want to pay a $3 cash bus fare with no transfer.

    On the other hand, those with the various types of cars have some options, although, as I noted, some of the options appear to be short lived.

  • In reply to jack:

    I meant cards.

  • Has anyone at the Cta put a price on the 2nd transfers (heresy, I know but we're broke)? Also, get rid of the ability to complete a round trip for $2.50 within 2 hrs. Just about every other system does NOT allow you to board the same bus/train you were just on with a transfer. There's policies right now that severely reduce revenue without needing the significantly raise the single ride fares.

    I also agree with Jack n Scooter (never thought I'd ever say that, god help me) with making those who pay with cash pay more. In addition, how about expanding the availability of chicago cards around the city? It's ridiculous that London has the ability to set a price cap to automatically stop charging pay per ride users once they reach the day pass fare to limit printing of paper cards and encourage use of the oyster card. Personally, I pay per ride because I don't need a monthly because I travel out of state regularly BUT there's days where I need a fun pass buts its nearly impossible to get. The MBTA in Beantown lets people refill their Charlie Cards on buses and at THOUSANDS of stores across metro Boston. There's ways to reduce expenses of fare media and encourage revenue growth without going straight to the customers and raise their base fare.

    And seriously, someone needs to address the work rules. I've seen some of the most ridiculous work rules out of any system at the cta.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    "Reload the Chicago Cards" seems to be the operative question. The CTA open fare site talks about where the prepaid cards will be available for purchase, but not about that.

    While I don't know, I sort of have the feeling that reloading monthlies in the future will be through auto debit, in that it seems unlikely that CTA would have a place to "reload" an open source bank card. Instead, all the bank card tells the fare machine is that you are you and you paid for the month. If that's the case, the CTA isn't going to incur the expense of creating more reloading stations for cards that are going to become obsolete.

  • In reply to ibright05:

    I might have also confused whether you meant Chicago Card or Chicago Card Plus.

    As I indicated, there won't (supposedly by 2014) be Chicago Cards. If you meant the prepaid per fare card, either you buy a new prepaid "CTA branded" card at one of the outlets mentioned, or you get a statement at the end of the month that your credit or debit card has been charged for so many rides. Again, CTA isn't going to invest in equipment to charge the soon to be obsolete card.

    Also, it seems pretty clear that Cubic is supposed to clear out its existing "obsolete" fare collection equipment, which I assume includes the "fare vending machines" in the L stations.

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