The Chicago Transit Authority’s transition to Ventra may — after a series of early hiccups — have finally started to work for the majority of CTA riders, but there’s one group Ventra does not seem to be benefiting: low-income Chicagoans.
The CTA and Pace say they’re not aware of any problems with the final changeover to Ventra cards. WBBM’s Bob Roberts spoke with both agencies.
The end is at hand for the last of CTA’s old farecards.
Sunday marks another step in the CTA’s conversion to the Ventra fare card, as riders will no longer be able to load money onto their magnetic strip cards or Chicago and Chicago Plus cards.
More than 200 people lined up at the Jefferson Park branch library to make the switch Thursday. A few elderly customers said they merely waited until CTA came to them, because the trip to CTA headquarters in the West Loop was too much.
The CTA took questions on Twitter for an hour Wednesday about Ventra and it didn’t even melt down any computers.
CTA officials said 86 percent of its fares are now paid with a Ventra card, and the agency is pushing the last of its riders to make the switch to Ventra. Pace riders have been slower to make the change, with about 60 percent of the suburban bus agency’s fares paid with Ventra cards.
When Ventra was first unveiled in September, there were massive teething problems.
CBS 2 has learned the CTA has quietly paid the makers of its Ventra card $2.4 million. That’s just for the first three months.
CTA is a lot happier now with the Ventra farecard than it was even a month ago. But CTA President Forrest Claypool said Wednesday that the final phase-out of old fare cards is at least two months off.
According to the Chicago Transit Authority, there could be a new transition schedule for the Ventra fare payment system as early as next month. This comes after the CTA set three performance standards for Cubic Transportation Systems — the company behind Ventra — back in November. As of January 1st, the CTA says Cubic has met these standards.
The CTA gave out more than a million dollars in free rides due to Ventra equipment failure over a two month period.
Scattered reports began to come in about 6:30 p.m. that buses on multiple routes are experiencing outages, CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said. She could not immediately provide which routes or how many buses are affected.
Bus drivers have said they’re seeing fewer problems with Ventra fare cards, and the mayor said he’s not holding Claypool responsible for the foul-ups with the switchover to Ventra.
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?
A union official on Thursday showed reporters a photograph of a Ventra card that worked –- despite having a negative balance of $272.50.
The chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority said Wednesday the problems with the Ventra fare card system amount to “systemic failure,” not just “a computer glitch.” And he ordered his chief auditor to determine how much it’s costing.
If you wave your wallet over Ventra card readers, beware. Other cards in there could be mistakenly charged a transit fee. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.
Commuters had so much trouble with the CTA’s Ventra payment cards Tuesday night workers in yellow vests offered free rides.
The ongoing teething problems with the Ventra fare card were front and center at the CTA’s only public hearing on its 2014 budget.