Paying cash at O'Hare station? CTA fare jumps from $2.25 to $5 today

(Chicago Tribune file photo )
January 14, 2013|By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz | RedEye

The beginning of the Blue Line saw the beginning of a fare increase Monday. Riders who load up their card with cash saw the price of their Blue Line ride from O’Hare jump from $2.25 to $5 as part of CTA fare hikes that took effect Monday.

Riders with daily, weekly or monthly unlimited ride passes didn’t and won’t pay the increase.
Chicago Card users who pay per ride will not see the increase until this summer as the CTA works with O’Hare employees to encourage them to buy unlimited passes so they won’t pay $5 fares every time they leave O’Hare.

When Going Public visited the O’Hare station at 7:15 a.m. Monday, there were a few customer service assistants on hand to help riders navigate the new fare structure.

The CTA also posted signs about the fare changes by transit card purchase machines.
Plus, each O’Hare turnstile had a sticker that said “customers using full fare transit cards will be charged $5.”

But this sticker may be confusing to Chicago Card users not aware of the six-month delay in the fare increase. Chicago Card users likely wouldn’t stop by the fare card purchase machines and see the fare changes signs.

CTA spokesman Brian Steele said there was limited space to put information on the turnstile sticker, and he believes that Chicago Card users are aware of the six-month O’Hare reprieve.

“That's something that we believe has received pretty extensive media coverage,” Steele said. "The decals on the turnstiles are meant to be a last-chance warning/reminder to customers, not a full explanation, so their wording is brief and concise."

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