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NEWS
September 16, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz @tracyswartz and RedEye
Talk about missed connections. CTA riders who think they wait too long for buses and trains should try calling the customer-service number for Ventra, the CTA's new fare payment system. Going Public called the Ventra hotline, 877-669-8368, three times Monday and waited on hold the first time for 19 minutes before the call disconnected. The second time was a six-minute wait before disconnection. The third time, the call went through - after a 17-minute wait. CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said the Ventra hotline on Monday saw "an unusually high call volume" from more riders getting their Ventra cards.
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NEWS
September 13, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
South Loop resident Dylan Oakes, 20, said he was surprised this week when he tapped his wallet against the Ventra card reader and was charged $5 for his CTA ride since he has a prepaid university pass through Columbia College. Instead of reading his U-Pass Ventra card, though, the Ventra reader pulled from his contactless Chase card in his wallet--a frustration that some Ventra users have shared on social media. The CTA said it aware of the complaints and is asking its riders to take Ventra cards out of their wallets and purses so unregistered debit cards are not accidentally charged.
NEWS
September 11, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
The CTA will finish mailing all Ventra cards by the end of next week to Chicago Card users who have verified their mailing addresses, the agency said Wednesday. Some Chicago Card users have been complaining on social media that they have not received their cards yet despite filling out the pertinent information. Ventra, the CTA's new fare payment system, became available to all CTA and Pace riders on Monday. The CTA said more than 375,000 Ventra cards have been distributed.
NEWS
September 9, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Ventra, the CTA's new fare payment system, became available to all CTA and Pace riders on Monday, but some riders complained they didn't get carded. Dozens of riders grumbled on Twitter and Facebook that they had not received their Ventra cards in the mail despite responding to at least one CTA email to confirm their addresses. The CTA said there were 100,000 Ventra cards in use as of Friday, with more than 30,000 cards in the mail. About 15,000 Ventra cards are being mailed out each day, the CTA said.
NEWS
June 10, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Gov. Quinn last week picked a longtime politico to sit on the CTA's board--and he doesn't live anywhere near a CTA stop. Quinn nominated Frank Zuccarelli, a 20-year supervisor of Thornton Township in south Cook County, to replace John Bouman, who is leaving the board after nearly four years. Zuccarelli, who resides in South Holland, did not return a request for comment. At least one of the members of the seven-member CTA board has to live outside Chicago city limits, according to state law. But every board member should have easy access to the CTA. The CTA board meets once a month to vote on important rider matters that range from fare hikes to bus service changes.
NEWS
June 5, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Listen up, riders. The CTA wants you to know that soon it will be switching to Ventra, its new fare payment system that the agency plans to roll out this summer. The CTA this week began audio announcements on all its buses about Ventra. There are two versions of the announcements, which run every 25 to 30 minutes. "They're basically educational recordings letting people know to visit ventrachicago.com," CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said. "It's just kind of an awareness campaign right now. " The CTA has not yet announced a start date for Ventra except to say that it is coming this summer.
NEWS
April 1, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Here's the gist of Monday's state hearing about CTA's Ventra system: The public transit agency is not doing a good job of educating the public about the details of its new fare collection method, which is scheduled to roll out within months. The CTA said it plans to launch this month an extensive outreach campaign about transitioning to Ventra, which may start as early as "early this summer," CTA President Forrest Claypool said at Monday's hearing, which was attended by CTA, Metra and Pace officials.
NEWS
February 27, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
A single rail ride could cost $3 if the rider pays with cash when the CTA unveils its new open fare payment system Ventra this summer. The CTA is proposing a 50-cent "limited use media fee" for disposable single ride tickets. The $3 would cover $2.25 rail fare, a 25-cent transfer and the 50-cent fee, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. Riders would pay the 25-cent transfer fee whether they make a connection or not. Starting this summer, riders will be able to use their debit/credit cards, a Ventra card, disposable unlimited passes or single-ride passes to pay for their rail trips.
NEWS
January 15, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz
The beginning of the Blue Line saw the beginning of a fare increase Monday. Riders who load up their card with cash saw the price of their Blue Line ride from O'Hare jump from $2.25 to $5 as part of CTA fare hikes that took effect Monday. The increase does not apply to riders with daily, weekly or monthly unlimited ride passes. Chicago Card users who pay per ride will not see the increase until this summer. In the meantime, the CTA is working with O'Hare employees to encourage them to buy unlimited passes so they won't pay $5 fares every time they leave O'Hare.
NEWS
January 14, 2013 | By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz and RedEye
Brown Line riders, you've been treated. The CTA is set to finish replacing rotting wood this month on the platforms at 13 Brown Line stations with wood that has been weather-treated. The agency is wrapping up work at the last station on the list, the Southport stop in Lakeview. The CTA is spending nearly $6 million replacing the wood that was used to renovate 13 of 18 stations in the yearslong $530 million Brown Line Capacity Expansion project that ended in 2009, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said.
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