Chicago targeting abuse of free, reduced fare cards

Posted on November 18, 2014

Jeremy A
Jeremy A
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is targeting the fraudulent use of free and reduced-fare cards, as part of a comprehensive, ongoing effort the agency has undertaken to analyze the steady rise over the past year in the number of free and reduced-fare rides taken on CTA trains and buses.

Last month the CTA began performing card-verification efforts at rail stations throughout the city and suburbs, verifying individuals using any type of free or reduced-fare card were the cardholder listed on the face of the card. Regulations for free and reduced-fare programs — which include seniors, persons with disabilities, U-Pass, student fares and other categories — stipulate that those cards can only be used by the individual identified on the card and can’t be transferred.

Since October 2014, the CTA has collected more than 1,800 free and reduced-fare cards during the card-verification efforts. It estimates that the lost potential annualized revenue from the fraudulent use of those cards at $2.8 million.

Separately, the CTA is conducting an audit of free and reduced-fare card usage to better understand card use, and ensure that individuals who qualify for free and reduced-fare rides are actually the ones benefitting. The audit expands upon the agency’s regular monitoring of special fare programs, including free- and reduced-fare rides.

The results of the recent CTA analysis found that of approximately 600,000 RTA free, reduced-fare and paratransit cards, slightly more than 1% are being used at a frequency far above the typical average for similar cards. The approximately one percent of cards CTA identified in the audit were used 10 or more times a day, at least twice in a seven-day period.

The CTA is also working closely with the RTA to continue education efforts for free and reduced-fare ride customers, including reminding them that their cards are for their use only and that they should be sure to store them in a safe place and not share them.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (1 Comment)

More News

Alexander Dennis' Enviro500 concept bus on display in Singapore

The full low-floor, three-door, two-staircase double-deck bus is being shown at the LTA-UITP Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition in Suntec City.

ETA adds Intelligent Transit System to Grand Valley

The new ITS provides Grand Valley with ETA's real-time arrival predictions, fare collection system integration, automatic on-board announcements, and the tools to track and chart system improvements over time.

Proterra names Honeywell, Tesla vet to COO post

Josh Ensign’s track record includes leading global operations for 42 factories in 15 countries and managing the supporting supply chains. 

Nova announces 2 major orders for San Antonio VIA, Houston Metro

The buses will be manufactured in Plattsburgh, state of New York, and the delivery of the vehicles has already begun in Houston.

Driverless bus service in France sets world record

The two electric vehicles, fitted with high-tech equipment including laser sensors, stereo vision and GPS, can ferry around 15 passengers at a top speed of 12 mph.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (1)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close