- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Starting next year passengers on Chicago trains and buses will be able to use smartphones to pay.

Transit officials announced Wednesday that a free mobile app will be available in the first half of 2015 from Ventra, the company that produces fare cards.

Passengers will be able to use it system wide - on Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses, suburban Pace buses and the Metra commuter rail service.

Metra riders will be able to display ticket images for conductors from their phones.

CTA and Pace riders using the app will be able to add money to Ventra cards. But by early 2016 they’ll be able to touch their phones directly to a Ventra reader as they board.

Transit officials say the app will allow more seamless transfers between services.

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