CTA Ventra riders lash out at board ahead of budget vote

Many Chicago commuters are frustrated with the Chicago Transit Authority?s new fare system, Ventra, and Wednesday President Forest Claypool said improvements are being made but more work needs to be done.
November 13, 2013 2:54:06 PM PST
Many Chicago commuters are frustrated with the Chicago Transit Authority's new fare system Ventra and some of them vented their frustrations at the agency's budget meeting Wednesday.

There are continued complaints about Ventra, but there are details about what's being done to reduce those complaints and improve the system.

The regular meeting for the CTA addressed little regarding the new payment system for riders Ventra.

The system's president Forrest Claypool says a new software program on the rail lines is improving service but not enough to set a deadline for riders to transition fully.

"Once the numbers hit 99 percent on the timing of the system, once we have a call center that has the capacity and the quality, and level of service that I'm comfortable with, then and only then will we proceed," Claypool said.

Last week Claypool with Mayor Emanuel said Ventra's parent company Cubic would not get paid until the system showed better results and ease for riders.

Tuesday night at a hearing regarding CTA's budget many of the comments where about Ventra.

Some Riders report widespread problems using the new system.

While payments are being withheld, the CTA board approved a budget Wednesday for next year that does not raise fares or reduce service but includes future payment to Cubic.

O'Kema Lewis signed up to speak at Wednesday's meeting.

She had trouble with buses not reading her new Ventra card. One ride the driver allowed her to get on and others who were having trouble with their Ventra cards.

She worries about other times if the driver isn't so flexible.

"I want to address it and I want to address it in a way that says it's not just about me," she said. "I don't know who else this is happening to, but I watch it take place and it's a concern," she said.

SHARE YOUR STORY!

You can share your experiences with the new Ventra fare system on the CTA. We want to hear the good with the bad (but please keep them clean).

You can e-mail us photos or videos with your story at useeit@abc7chicago.com

You can also go online and upload photos and images directly at useeit.abc7chicago.com (just select #DearCTA as the channel).

Or, you can also send us images and stories on Facebook and Twitter at ABC 7 Chicago or @ABC7Chicago (we ask that you include the hash tag #DearCTA) .

We'll look at the submissions and may share some of them on air and online as we continue to cover the rollout of this new fare system across Chicago.


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