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CTA reverses on Ventra, allows Chicago Card reloads

With the rocky rollout of the Ventra fare card system, the CTA is now temporarily bringing back its old fare cards that were no longer being sold.

In Wednesday’s abrupt reversal, the CTA resumed selling magnetic-striped transit cards at rail systems. Also, Chicago Card customers can again add values to their old cards.

Both of these options had been cut off Monday to push riders into using Ventra before it takes over completely in mid-December.

The CTA knew it had to do something to ease things after thousands of people trying to enroll in the Ventra system experienced much frustration, waiting on the phone with customer service for up to an hour.

CTA officials had planned on doubling their customer service representatives to address things, but now say they’ll triple the number of reps to about 300.

5 comments

  • afolgers

    I have called twice and have been told the wait time is 35 minutes both time – seriously? How is this process not online?

  • fedup

    Got Ventra card on 10/5, got e-mail with login information 10/9 – even then it took 2 hours on hold (3 different phone calls) to Ventra to reach customer rep because their web site was having "technical glitches" and wouldn't accept my information so without calling in I'd never have registered my card – 1/2 hour on phone with rep, still couldn't get my personal information accepted by their system. an hour after that call my information was magically entered into my account and my Ventra card is working. So for me it was only 3 days, 4 hours on the phone to get the card to work (after I finally received it.)
    It's just too bad that this "better" system is being forced on CTA users in hopes that some people who don't carry credit or debit cards will start using these as such and rack up stupid transaction fees?
    Was the Chicago Card system so broken? I don't remember ever having an issue with my Chicago Plus Card – EVER – and no one ever asked if I was dissatisfied with it. . . just hope that the Ventra card is paying the CTA well . . . oh wait, the CTA isn't paying THEM for this hassle are they?

    • fedup

      and hey – 6 hours later ANOTHER e-mail from Ventra saying that I haven't registered my card yet – oh, this will be fun in the morning!!

  • ml57

    If the CTA was a business in the real world and not a govt agency, the personnel managing the program would have been fired long ago and their doors would have closed since no consumer in their right mind would tolerated their performance.
    But this being a stellar example of a typical govt run agency with new levels of incompetence rising to the top every week, those involved will be promoted and then be afforded the opportunity to double/triple dip the pension plan.

  • Chris

    This is a perfect example of trying to "fix" something that wasn't broken simply to make money. I commute to work everyday and there was absolutely nothing wrong with my Chicago Card Plus. It was fast, simple, and easy. The entire Ventra system was designed out of greed, NOT with the convenience of Chicagoans in mind.

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