CHICAGO
02/28/2013 01:39 pm ET Updated Mar 07, 2013

Another CTA Fare Hike? Single Ride Rail Fares Could Cost $3, Thanks To New Ventra System

The cost of a single-ride CTA rail fare could cost $3 for riders paying with cash by this summer, when the agency's new Ventra open fare payment system is up and running.

The RedEye reported Wednesday that the CTA is proposing that single-ride tickets will go for $3 -- entailing the $2.25 fare, a 25-cent transfer and a 50-cent "limited use media fee" -- for those paying with cash. The 25-cent transfer will be charged regardless of whether riders use it or not.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Card will still be accepted this year but is being phased out: it will no longer be accepted come 2014.

The Ventra system will allow riders on the CTA and Pace to use the MasterCard-stamped cards both to pay for transit and, via a prepaid debit account also stored on the card, they can also be used as payment where MasterCards are accepted. Bank-issued debit and credit cards could also be used to pay for transit through Ventra after they are registered with the CTA.

CBS Chicago previously reported that the First Data-owned Money Network, one of the companies behind the new Ventra card, had an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau due to receiving nearly 100 complaints over the last thee years. Among the complaints? That Money Network denied customers' disputes of clearly fraudulent debit card charges.

UPDATE (3/7/13): Since the CBS report was published, Money Network's BBB rating has been updated to a B+. According to a spokesman for First Data, the BBB "initially misclassified Money Network by business size, resulting in a low rating" and First Data worked with the bureau "to correct the error and to resolve all 97 complaints filed in their system over a span of three years."

According to CBS, the CTA expects it will save $5 million each year as riders switch to Ventra cards from temporary cards.

Last month, newly increased prices on all of the CTA's multi-ride passes went into effect.

CONVERSATIONS