Transportation: Metra to try 'mobile ticketing'

Metra plans to test a "mobile ticketing" program that will let customers use their smartphones as "virtual tickets" rather than fumble with the traditional paper passes. Metra also hopes to integrate its service better with the CTA's Ventra card. The Illinois Tollway plans to spend $1.4 billion, the most the agency has budgeted for a single year, on several big-ticket projects. Most of the work will be part of the ongoing rebuilding and widening of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90). The CTA will begin a four-year track and station rehabilitation on the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line. The $492 million project will cut up to 10 minutes off travel times between downtown and O'Hare International Airport, officials said. At O'Hare, work will kick into high gear on construction of another east-west runway, set to open in late 2015. Chicago's Divvy bicycle sharing program, which launched over the summer, will be expanded in 2014 to about 4,000 bikes at 475 docking stations.
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-- Richard Wronski and Jon Hilkevitch
chi-look-ahead-metra-20130226

( Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune / February 26, 2013 )

Metra plans to test a "mobile ticketing" program that will let customers use their smartphones as "virtual tickets" rather than fumble with the traditional paper passes. Metra also hopes to integrate its service better with the CTA's Ventra card. The Illinois Tollway plans to spend $1.4 billion, the most the agency has budgeted for a single year, on several big-ticket projects. Most of the work will be part of the ongoing rebuilding and widening of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (Interstate 90). The CTA will begin a four-year track and station rehabilitation on the O'Hare branch of the Blue Line. The $492 million project will cut up to 10 minutes off travel times between downtown and O'Hare International Airport, officials said. At O'Hare, work will kick into high gear on construction of another east-west runway, set to open in late 2015. Chicago's Divvy bicycle sharing program, which launched over the summer, will be expanded in 2014 to about 4,000 bikes at 475 docking stations.

-- Richard Wronski and Jon Hilkevitch

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