Starting next year, passengers on Chicago area 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 C-T-A trains and buses, suburban Pace buses and the Metra commuter rail service.
A special task force raises new questions about Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his influence on hiring at Metra. The panel, which issued its report Monday, was created after a scandal involving political patronage at the commuter rail agency.
Metra's former CEO answered questions Wednesday about political patronage and his controversial severance package.
Alex Clifford addressed the Regional Transportation Authority. It oversees Metra. Clifford says Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan made it known that he wanted Clifford to hire one person and give another Metra employee a raise. When asked if the powerful House speaker did anything illegal, Clifford said no.