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NEWS
October 14, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
As the CTA continues its plan to convert its riders to the new Ventra fare collection system, the agency is winding down on another project: the reconstruction of the southern portion of the Red Line. Trains are expected to begin running along the Red Line between 95th Street and Roosevelt Road starting 2 a.m. Sunday. This section of the Red Line has been out of commission since May 19 as crews ripped up the tracks, laid new ones and made three stations accessible for riders with disabilities.
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NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Last Sunday was supposed to be the CTA's deadline to transition fully to Ventra, but the agency still continues to work out the kinks of its new fare payment system. One of the longstanding problems is the amount of time it takes for a bus reader to process a Ventra tap. The CTA said this time has improved in the last month: 99.5 percent of all taps on buses from Nov. 19 through last Tuesday have been processed in 2.5 seconds or less, the agency's goal, according to a progress report released Friday.
NEWS
November 20, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
Going Public has long been an advocate of using 30-day passes to pay for unlimited CTA rides instead of paying per ride because the unlimited passes were such a great deal. Apparently the deal was too good. The CTA proposed Tuesday to hike the cost of one-, three-, seven- and 30-day unlimited passes including Chicago Cards that are used as 30-day passes. Chicago Card users who pay per ride and those who pay with cash would not see an increase, which will take effect Jan. 14 if the CTA board approves the plan.
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
CTA President Forrest Claypool on Wednesday called a proposed cost increase for single-ride rail tickets "a voluntary payment. " The CTA is proposing hiking the cost of single-ride train tickets from $2.25 to $3 when the agency rolls out its Ventra payment system this summer. "No one has to pay a fee. It's only if they choose not to participate in the Ventra system," Claypool said at a press conference announcing an expanded CTA apprentice program. "It's just [for] someone who insists on getting an expensive [paper card]
NEWS
September 18, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Where is my Ventra card? Chicago Card Plus users who received an email from the CTA and filled out the mailing information should be receiving their cards soon. The CTA said it will finish mailing these cards by the end of the week. About 50,000 registered Chicago Card riders will have their cards mailed out early next week. After mailing, it should take seven to 10 business days to arrive. I've been using disposable magnetic stripe cards. Where can I get a Ventra card?
NEWS
October 2, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
As the CTA prepares to fully transition to Ventra, some companies are slow to adopt the controversial new fare system. Walgreens, which sells CTA cards, is not currently selling Ventra cards at any of its stores. "We anticipate installing the necessary equipment in our stores in the next few weeks," Walgreens spokesman Jim Graham said in an e-mail. "I don't have more specific information at this time. " In a press release last month, the CTA said Walgreens will begin offering Ventra cards at 159 locations "shortly after the September launch.
NEWS
November 22, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Ventra, the CTA's new fare payment system, has seen "improvement in nearly every performance area since Nov. 5," but "much more progress [is] required," according to a progress report the CTA released today, its first since the agency slowed its transition to the controversial system earlier this month. The CTA said an upgrade to rail software helped Ventra readers process train rider taps in 2.5 seconds or less 99.7 percent of the time since Nov. 11. The CTA said it is making similar upgrades on buses, where some riders have reported lengthy boarding times because of slow readers.
NEWS
January 16, 2012 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
The CTA board approved a contract last week for consultants to evaluate the current set of CTA schedules to determine if the agency is operating as efficiently and fairly as it could be. This could be the end of the whine for some CTA riders. The CTA board approved contracts last week for consultants to evaluate the current set of CTA schedules to determine if the agency is operating as efficiently and fairly as it could be. The CTA says it evaluates schedules throughout the year and makes changes based on seasonal trends.
NEWS
April 15, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, RedEye
What do CTA President Forrest Claypool and teen pop sensation Justin Bieber have in common? They're both track stars who are offering prepaid debit cards. Bieber last week began a video campaign for SpendSmart prepaid debit cards marketed to teenagers. Claypool has been promoting the upcoming Ventra fare payment system. One of the options is a prepaid debit card. Both prepaid cards have been criticized for their fees, which include balance refund check for Ventra ($6) and replacement charge for SpendSmart ($7.95)
NEWS
September 16, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
CTA riders trying to use their personal debit and credit cards as fare cards won't be able to register their cards until sometime this fall, the agency said Monday. That means these riders can't manage their accounts online and need to stay vigilant about their balances so they're not charged full fares instead of getting transfer prices. Unlike Chicago Card Plus, the transit balances on personal bank cards will not replenish when riders spend down the balances. "We're still in the process of transitioning over to Ventra," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said in an e-mail.
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