Today’s Headlines

  • Hearing 6 pm Tonight at CTA HQ on Ventra Fare System (Tribune)
  • Wells Bridge Reopens to CTA Trains (Tribune, DNA)
  • DUI Crackdown in Deering Police District (DNA)
  • Man Killed After SUV Rams His Car on I-57 in Washington Heights (Tribune)
  • Pace Bus Rider Killed in Canaryville After Driver Reportedly Swerves to Miss Pedestrian (Tribune, DNA)
  • 2 Dead in I-57 Crash in Calumet Park (Tribune)
  • Woman Dead, 3 Injured In Aurora Retention Pond Crash (Tribune)
  • 1 Killed, 2 Seriously Injured in Elgin Crash (Tribune)
  • 1 Killed After Car Crashes Into Romeoville Pond (Tribune)
  • CTA 30-Day Pass Changes Student’s Perspective on City (Chicago Weekly)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • I still fail to see what advantage PASSENGERS will get out of Ventra, over Chicago Card. All the billboards touting Ventra seem to ignore that we’ve had a tap-to-board system for, what, years now? they act like Ventra’s just fallen from the sky, or the forehead of Zeus, and will save everyone from the tyranny of tokens and 1-day passes.

    Sigh.

  • Clark Wellington

    Ventra saves the CTA money –> CTA is closer to a balanced budget –> CTA can provide more services/cut fewer services/raise fares less –> Passengers are better off

  • See you tonight at the Ventra hearing, 6 pm at CTA headquarters, 567 West Lake?

  • Jakub Muszynski

    The one big bonus for riders is the ability to go to even more locations to reload or purchase a card. Having 2000 reload stations is amazing compared to the 600 or so we have now. The Idea behind this new system is to speed everything up, the magnetic cards are slow compared to touch cards. CASH is still accepted, at one of these 2000 reload stations and on buses. Turnstiles have not been accepting cash for quite a while now so I think as long as Cubic does a good job and does not have issues with their system there should not be anyone who is significantly affected in a negative manner.

  • Anonymous

    With Ventra, you don’t need to carry a proprietary card, you can use the credit card you’re already carrying.

  • Unfortunately, I have a kid, so any evening meetings (after daycare lets out) are a no-go.

  • Are the major credit cards going to put a ventra logo on themselves? Somehow I thought this was a much smaller company.

    Also, I really, REALLY do not want to expose my main credit-card number to something like a transit system, personally (but that may just be me).

  • I don’t see why we can’t keep the same Chicago card we’ve been using, and recharge them at all these new stations they’re putting in. The current cards ARE touch cards (I don’t mean the flippy ones — which presumably aren’t changing? — but the proper Chicago Card and Plus options).

    I’m not looking forward to having to carefully empty my stored value off my Chicago Card and then shell out to buy a new proprietary piece of plastic, then get a login for their system and figure out how to use it.

  • Anonymous

    No, Ventra works with the existing contactless credit cards. It’s just like using a touchless at Walgreen’s (instead of swiping).

  • Weird. Well, none of my credit cards do that (I haven’t had to replace a physical card in over 5 years, and I guess that’s probably newer); I have to swipe at stores. So it wouldn’t do me any good. And it still exposes my main credit card to, well, any nefariousness out in the world; I prefer to keep my transit budget separate so if it gets swiped it’s not my entire credit history at stake.

  • Anonymous

    A simple call to your credit card company will get you a replacement card with a chip. It should not cost you anything.

    How do you reload your card today? Using a withdrawal from your credit card? Paying cash at a CTA station? Both will still be possible.

  • Anonymous

    How have you not replaced a card in 5 years? Mine seem to never be good for than 3 years (ie expiration date is 3 years from when issued).

  • Jakub Muszynski

    Both the floppy mag strip cards and the Chicago Cards are going away sometime in 2014. The issue with the Chicago Cards is that they were not accepted on the Pace system and by law CTA, Pace and Metra need to use the same payment system by 2015. It would be great if they could use both the Ventra cards and Chicago Cards together and phase the Chicago Cards out as they expire, but CTA is looking to cut and remove the costs that they pay operating the whole system.

    I hope someone brought this up at the meeting, I was not able to go because of work. Good luck spending the max value of you card ($300) but at least if you take two ride a day at two dollars bus fare five time a week you should have emptied your card in 15 weeks.

  • Jennifer

    I thought Chicago cards were accepted on Pace? I’m pretty sure I’ve used mine on Pace in the past.

  • Interesting. If the floppy mag cards are going away, what is the solution going to be for single-fare passengers who don’t want to tap a mainstream credit card (or don’t have a credit card to tap)? I presume the Ventra machines will sell some kind of single-fare option …