I'm all for modernization of transit system, and moving people away from cash fares is a great step.
The CTA has introduced a Chicago Card, which is a smarter version of the 'regular' transit card. Only users of the Chicago Card avoided a fare hike this month of about 15% -- everyone else pays $2 per ride, while Chicago Card users pay $1.75.
But the CTA's Chicago Card program has a major flaw: you can't buy them at transit stations.
You can buy them online here.
Or you can buy them at currency exchanges (when they aren't out of stock, as they have been for most of January, triggering a lawsuit against the CTA), for a service fee.
But you can't buy them at CTA stations. Even though there are usually CTA personnel at the stations. And even though there are machines that will take money and spit out a regular card, for whatever reason, you can't buy a Chicago Card.
That's absurd, in my view.
If we want most commuters, not to mention tourists, to use the Chicago Card, then they must be available where most people that want to use public transit will go -- the stations themselves.
I have no idea why CTA personnel who staff stations can't sell the cards. I also have no idea why the machines that dispense the 'regular' cards can't also dispense a Chicago Card.
But these policies ought to be changed.