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CTA Plays Favorites with Chicago Card Holders

By Andrew Peerless in News on Jun 6, 2005 1:08PM

Image courtesy of posterartz.comHave you ever sat in a tangle of tollbooth-induced gridlock, silently (or loudly) cursing the I-pass holders that whiz through the turnstyles with nary a wait and nary a care? Unless you have one of the CTA's Chicago Cards or Chicago Cards Plus, you may be resigned to a similar fate the next time you board a train or bus.

In an effort to reduce travel times, the CTA today introduced left-hand speed lanes specifically for the use of Chicago Card holders, who need only tap or wave their card in front of a sensor to get those turnstyle to spin (as opposed to the antiquated "insert, wait, retrieve" method of yore). The new lanes were added to eight rail stations and ten bus lines, as follows:

Buses: #151 (Sheridan), #144 (Marine/Michigan Express), #145 (Wilson/Michigan Express), #156 (LaSalle), #126 (Jackson), #6 (Jackson Park Express), #29 (State) and #3 (King Drive)

El Stations: Howard, Chicago, 79th and 95th/Dan Ryan on the Red Line, Jefferson Park on the Blue Line; and Clark/Lake, Washington/State, and Washington/Dearborn in the Loop.

The CTA will likely expand the program if travel times indeed are reduced, and if more folks cave in and finally hop on the Chicago Card bandwagon. Before you go crying "discrimination," though, keep in mind that the CTA is waiving the $5 Chicago Card initiation fee through July 31, 2005. Get 'em while they're hot!