Press Release http://www.ctariders.org/
Citizens Taking Action for transit dependent riders http://www.ctariders.org/
For Information: Charles Paidock (312) 714-7790, (312) 842-5036, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevn Peterson (773) 896-8126
Citizens Taking Action, an organization of transit dependent riders, is concerned about implementation of the CTA's new "open" transit fare system, using a debit/credit card, which was simply announced last September as a press release, without any public hearings. CTA apparently simply approved an agreement with a private company at a monthly meeting of their board. The contract will pay the company a monthly fee plus a fee per "tap" or paid fare, over the life of a 12 year contract.
CBS 2’s News reported that "one of the companies behind the new card gets an F rating from the Better Business Bureau."
The transit group has affiliated with Privatization Watch: Illinois (PWIL) which works to expose the dangers of, and to stop the spread of, public-private partnerships (PPPs) such as this, as well as Mayor Emanuel's plans for an infrastructure trust.
PWIL points out that when other transit systems that have entered into such pubic-private partnerships, the results were disasterous. In England, the London Underground’s PPP, for example, is called "biggest transport fiasco of our time."
Charles Paidock, Secretary of the group, stated: "It is very, very dangerous to allow a private company to have access to the fare box on each bus, and at each el station, which is what CTA is doing. These companies like nothing better than to have a "steady revenue stream" of money coming in each day. On top of this, CTA gives them money up front to set in place this operation, apparently $454 million. You're letting a private company collect passenger revenue, and it doesn't put one bus on the street, or a train on the track. I thnk we're only beginning to see the start of this story."
Keven Peterson said: "You are expecting us to trust CTA with access to our personal banking information, our credit cards, our debit cards, and expect nothing bad to happen? Leave it up to CTA pick the worst company to partner with. There were no open pubic hearings about any of this. It's just the status quo with how CTA operates. Are we expected to just trust them to all do their jobs? And when something bad happens we're all supposed to be surprised, and CTA will not have seen it coming. Do you trust CTA with all your personal banking information? I don't."