Chicago Transit Authority, Cubic, Ventra Partner for Big Award

June 4, 2015

9:00 pm

They’ve won some big time awards abroad, and now Cubic Transportation Systems is bringing it home. Alongside the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Cubic was awarded the ‘Best New Innovative Practice-Partnership Deployment’ for Ventra, their joint contactless bankcard payment system.

The award, given at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) Annual Meeting & Expo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, recognized the organizations for implementing innovative projects with outcomes that redefine performance in public transport. ITS America gives awards annually in what it considers a highly competitive program to honor effective, influential achievements in transportation.

Ventra itself was built on Cubic’s account-based technology and operates as an open payment system that accepts bank-issued contactless cards to pay fares. CTA issued Ventra cards include a transit account and an optional prepaid debit account, effectively creating the ability to pay for transit and everyday retail purchases all in one card.

“Ventra has provided our customers increased flexibility in traveling the city and greater ease in purchasing and managing fares,” says Michael Gwinn, Director of revenue and fare systems for the CTA.

As one of the first transit agencies in the world electing to transition entirely to an account based system, the CTA has achieved other firsts for Ventra’s account-based fare systems:

  • They’re the first intermodal open payment system – bus and rail
  • They’re the first interagency open payment system – CTA and suburban bus operator Pace and future integration with regional commuter rail Metra

“The Ventra system is not only advanced next generation technology, but it is based on a new public-private partnership model that can be replicated for other transportation payment system implementations,” says Matt Cole, EVP and Deputy for strategy and business development at Cubic. “With this partnership model, public agencies can future proof their system to help ensure it delivers on their promise of providing efficient and convenient public transportation to their customers.”

To date the CTA’s payment system that launched in the fall of 2013 has nearly 4.2 million active accounts, exceeded 560 million transactions, and 100 percent market share. With Cubic’s supporting services to manage and operate Ventra, the CTA has met its goals to modernize the agency’s outdated fare payment system while maximizing convenience and account security for its customers.

Image Credit: Flickr / Steven Vance's page / cropped, resized

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988