A man dressed as Santa Claus sits in his sleigh as the CTA holiday train travels… (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune )
When the CTA contacted Jeremy Capp late last month to ask why he had not yet transitioned to Ventra, the Bucktown resident told the CTA he was not planning to activate his Ventra card until the “last possible second.”
Capp said he has had his Ventra card for months but has been waiting to switch from his Chicago Card Plus until Ventra vendor Cubic Transportation Systems worked out the glitches.
“I was annoyed that they were making me get a new card when the one I had already did exactly what Ventra was going to do,” Capp, 35, told Going Public. “I also added that in regards to [Ventra’s] ‘Convenience is Coming’ [email] that I was already convenienced and they were inconveniencing me.”
The CTA has been targeting Ventra holdouts, first with phone calls and most recently with a survey that went out to Chicago Card users who were mailed cards but who had not yet activated them.
The agency said it did not know the number of Chicago Card Plus users who have not transferred yet. The CTA said it is soliciting feedback to find out why riders have not made the switch and to offer them transition tips.
Some Chicago Card Plus users have complained to RedEye that they weren’t mailed a card, that they had trouble transitioning their balances and/or that their cards didn’t work on buses.
The CTA said last month it will not pay Cubic until these issues are resolved.
In the meantime, riders can continue to use their Chicago Cards and magnetic stripe cards. Full Ventra transition was set for Dec. 15, but that deadline was voided last month.
As of Nov. 22, Ventra was used to pay for more than 63 percent of CTA rides. The CTA could not provide updated numbers Monday.
Holiday Train Tracker
The CTA Holiday Train will be on the Green Line on Tuesday and the Orange and Brown lines Wednesday through Saturday. Go to transitchicago.com/holidaytrain for the full schedule.
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note
This week: Central Purple Line stop
The Central stop in Evanston is centrally located near Northwestern’s Ryan Field, Chandler Park and Evanston Hospital. However, it may be difficult for some riders to get to the last spot. Though riders can see the medical offices from the Central Purple Line platform, the station is not accessible for riders with disabilities. Only two of eight Purple Line stations north of Howard are accessible—the worst percentage of any line in the system. Systemwide, about two-thirds of the CTA rail stations are accessible.
Next up: Chicago Brown Line
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