www.redeyechicago.com/news/cta/redeye-groupon-to-offer-cta-3day-passes-20120613,0,6247728.story

redeyechicago.com

Groupon to offer CTA 3-day passes

RedEye

10:05 AM CDT, June 13, 2012

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The cash-strapped CTA has found a new way to make some money, and cash-strapped commuters can benefit from it.

On Wednesday, the CTA announced a partnership with Groupon that will offer discounted three-day passes for $9 instead of the current price of $14. Groupon is buying 250,000 of the passes for $1.9 million. The CTA gets the money up front.

"This is a great way to unite two highly visible and respected brands," CTA President Forrest Claypool said. "This unique offer is an innovative way for the CTA to cultivate new, local customers and tourists in a way we've never done before. This is an innovative partnership, as this is the first time Groupon has partnered with a transit agency."

The deal—the first of its kind involving a U.S. transit agency—will be offered as early as the end of June.

"This innovative deal is exciting in many ways," Mayor Emanuel said. "It will generate nearly $2 million of immediate additional revenue for CTA, it will introduce and attract new potential customers to CTA, and is an innovative example of the government and business community working together to benefit the entire city."

As part of the deal, the CTA and Groupon can make an additional 250,000 passes available for the same price within 12 months.