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The Problem

Chicago is home to the second-largest public transit system in the U.S., covering the city and 35 neighboring communities. As of June 2018, the Chicago Transit Authority (City bus and rail) system carries 1.5 million rides on an average weekday. In addition to CTA, regional transit services are also provided by partner agencies Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban bus, both of which connect with CTA bus and rail in numerous locations throughout the area.

The Chicago Transit Authority faced a dilemma with its 20-year-old fare payment system. Not only did obsolescence issues make it difficult and costly to maintain, the aging system didn’t have the technology to meet legislative requirements unifying the region’s three major agencies on a single system by 2015.

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