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Chicago transit app reaches milestone

The success of the app shows the public’s appetite for integrated one-stop-shop transportation solutions

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The Ventra app allows customers to plan and pay for journeys across three transit systems
The Ventra app allows customers to plan and pay for journeys across three transit systems

Cubic Transportation Systems and Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) Ventra mobile app has hit two million downloads. It was also launched with bus operator Pace and the commuter rail system Metra. The app has been used to purchase nearly $250 million in fares.


The Ventra app, developed and launched by Cubic, CTA and its transit partners in November 2015, is a free, first-of-its kind, regional transit application in the US that allows customers to plan, manage and pay for their journeys across three transit systems from their mobile devices.


It offers riders a wide range of functionality, including the ability to add transit value, set up auto-load features, check balance, see transit purchase and travel history, as well as benefit from real-time notifications.


"The fact that the Ventra app has been downloaded more than two million times in less than two years demonstrates why CTA is leveraging technology to improve the transit experience for our customers," said Dorval R Carter, Jr president of CTA. "By making transit easier to pay for and more convenient to use, we help encourage people to take advantage of great public transit in the Chicago area."


Matt Cole, president of Cubic Transportation Systems, commented: “At the time of the launch, the Ventra app was the first transit app in the US allowing customers to pay for rides on multiple transit systems. With that, we hoped it would not only become a useful and convenient tool for commuters but also help people better engage with city transit overall.


"Today’s milestone shows there’s a growing appetite for integrated, one-stop-shop transportation solutions that put customers at the heart of public transit services. We’re incredibly pleased our technology can play a central role in improving public transport in Chicago and beyond."


The app followed the implementation of the Ventra fare payment system, which Cubic and CTA developed and launched in 2013, in what was Cubic’s first large-scale deployment of the NextAccount technology.


Ventra supports both account-based processing through an agency-issued smart card, as well as open payment, which enables customers to "pay as you go" with bank cards they already have or through mobile payment platforms including Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay.


Ventra also gives customers the ability to fund and manage their account online through a dedicated Ventra website, where they can take advantage of discounted fare products.


The free Ventra app – for which the CTA won the 2016 Innovation Award from the American Public Transportation Association – is available for download and use on Apple and Android smartphones and tablet.



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