CHICAGO (CBS) — The CTA took questions on Twitter for an hour Wednesday about Ventra and it didn’t even melt down any computers.
There were perhaps 100 serious questions to CTA at #AskVentra mixed in among the barbs, brickbats and comedians.
CTA said it did its best to reply quickly to the serious tweets, although it could be difficult to get serious with tweets such as, “Will there be Ventra-branded cologne and perfumes that smell like a Saturday 3 a.m. Red Line train car?”
Other tweets, such as, “How do commuters’ tears taste?” made it clear that rider frustration with the changeover remains. Several riders longed for the return of tokens or the long-gone Supertransfer. One student tweeted, “Can I get a note every time I’m late to class because I miss the train after having to swipe my U-Pass 12 times at five different turnstiles?”
Another person asked, “What can we do to make you go away?” and yet another offered this opinion: “If you thought Twitter Q&A was a good idea, why should we trust you to make strategic transportation decisions?”
Despite such comments, CTA’s Tammy Chase calls the Twitter experiment a success.
“We were pretty pleased with that,” she said.
Most riders have switched from older fare cards to Ventra, although some holdouts are still using the old Chicago Card, Chicago Card Plus and magnetic-stripe cards, which are on borrowed time. But Chase says CTA will probably take Ventra questions real time on Twitter again, even if it does yield comments such as the one from a Hot Doug’s hot dog fan who asked, “If I get a tattoo of a Ventra card, can I ride for free after Oct. 3?”