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The Chicago Transit Authority is enthusiastic about two up-and-coming ‘mega-projects’, costing upwards of $1.5 billion and over $4 billion. Projects of this magnitude cannot be funded by the public transit agency alone.
A recent public-private partnership with Cubic Transportation systems has become the “poster child” for funding these types of projects. While discussing funding options for these mega-projects of the future, CTA’s president Forrest Claypool pointed to a $454 million contract CTA signed with Cubic Transportation Systems last year, which set a solid model for future public-private partnerships.
Under the deal, CTA is getting out of the fare collection business, and Cubic is developing an open-fare collection system in which transit customers will use a new transit card, the ‘Ventra’ or their personal credit or debit cards to pay transit fares. The system is set to launch this summer.
With the new fare collection system, CTA expects to save about $50 million over the life of the contract.