Management & Operations

Cubic Chicago Ventra program hits 1 billionth transaction

Posted on May 18, 2016

Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), a business unit of Cubic Corp., announced that Ventra, the account-based open payment system launched in 2013 for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and suburban bus operator Pace, has processed more than one billion account-based journeys.

CTA, with daily ridership of 1.6 million journeys, is the first major transit system in North America to implement account-based open payment and is Cubic’s first large-scale deployment of its 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 moves passenger data and stored value from the card to the back office, along with fare policy, products and pricing. This process not only makes it easier for agencies to manage changes, but also creates greater security and convenience for customers. Ventra also gives customers the ability to fund and manage their account online through the transit agency’s website, where they can take advantage of discounted fare products such as seniors, disabled, military or students.

“Ventra is quickly becoming a game changer for transit fare payment systems,” said Matt Cole, president of Cubic Transportation Systems. “We are pleased to recognize this great milestone of one billion journey transactions with our Chicago transit partners as it demonstrates the success and convenience of account-based open payment that Ventra brings to its end users — the commuters of Chicagoland.”

David Wilson
David Wilson

“CTA is proud to break new ground for the future of transit ticketing and to be a transit industry leader with Ventra,” said Michael Gwinn, director of revenue and fare systems for the CTA. “This milestone underscores the support Chicagoans have for CTA, and our goal from day one has been to provide our customers more convenience and flexibility for a seamless transit experience they deserve.”

The Ventra app, launched in November 2015, completes the regional system bringing the Metra commuter rail system on board. The app allows Metra riders to also purchase fares on their smartphones through a mobile ticketing platform and by downloading a barcode ticket. Since the app’s launch six months ago, it has been downloaded more than 415,000 times, collected over 1.1 million orders and generated $28.5 million in sales.

In 2015, Cubic and CTA were awarded the “Best New Innovative Practice-Partnership Deployment” by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. The 12-year design-build-operate-maintain contract for Ventra was awarded by CTA to Cubic in November 2011. Cubic also provides the supporting services to manage and operate Ventra.

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