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CTA Watchdog: Ventra Parent Company Cubic Has History Of Problems

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Ventra reader (CBS)

Ventra reader (CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CHICAGO (CBS) — A CTA watchdog group is revealing some new information about the makers of the Ventra card that just might have you scratching your head asking what was the CTA thinking?

There have been complaints among public transit riders in San Francisco with the Clipper Card and Atlanta with the Breeze Card. In Australia, news reports focused on false charges with the Go Card.

And what do they all have in common?

They’re all Cubic Systems. Cubic operates Ventra. A VP of Cubic in Chicago last month said, “We are the largest automatic fare collection company in North America. We have contracts in over 40 countries.”

No mention of problems with other systems, like in Miami when credit card thieves targeted the Easy Card. Here in Chicago glitches with CTA’s Ventra card forced the agency to put a full rollout on pause.

“It’s inexcusable,” said Charles Paidock.

Paidock represents Citizens Taking Action, a CTA watchdog organization.

“It’s like selling you something you know is not functional and you haven’t corrected yet,” said Paidock. “

Paidock says he would ask the CTA, “Why are you marketing a flawed product? That’s fraud.”

Cubic has a 10 year,$454 million contract with CTA. CBS 2 asked CTA representatives if they knew about complaints involving other Cubic transit cards.

They didn’t exactly respond to that question, they just talked about the focus on improving the Ventra card.

As for Cubic, they say most problems are short lived and they process about 23 billion successful transactions a year.

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