Today’s Headlines for Friday, October 2

  • Durbin Urges Boehner to Pass a Long-Term Highway Bill Before He Steps Down (The Hill)
  • Amtrak Study Calls for Unified Control Center for Dispatchers From Different Railroads (Tribune)
  • New Metra Online Payment Policy Helps for Transit Benefit Program Users (Tribune)
  • Allegedly Drunk Driver Injures Paramedics Who Were Helping Victims of Previous Crash (DNA)
  • Police Release Video of Vehicle in Hit-and-Run That Killed a Pedestrian in Niles (Sun-Times)
  • Neighbors Concerned New Hotel Garage Exit Will Be a Safety Hazard (DNA)
  • Brown Line Closed Between Western & Kimball This Weekend for Track Repairs (DNA)
  • Now That Food Carts Are Legal, Tunney & Reilly Want to Limit Where They Can Go (HuffPo)
  • The 606 Gets Some Ink in Toronto’s Globe and Mail Newspaper
  • Piece Brewery & Pizzeria Salutes The 606 / Markets Their Business With Drone Video (DNA)
  • What’s Happening on the Lakefront Trail This Month (Active Trans)

Get national Headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Mr. Editor

    Typo: “Miles” should be “Niles”

  • Kevin M

    So, am I now able to use my Ventra card (which is not backed by a bank) to purchase Metra tickets online?

  • what_eva

    Do you mean buy a Metra ticket using the transit value on the card that you are filling using cash from time to time?

    If so, that *is* a feature in the Ventra app, currently in beta.

    I don’t think that’s what the Trib article is talking about, that is covering transit accounts from an employer (you pay for transit pre-tax), not Ventra cards.

  • Kevin M

    My Ventra card gets funds from my employer-administered transit benefit program. Unfortunately, I cannot use the Ventra app as I do not own a device that can run it. I was hoping that maybe this new Metra web-feature would allow me to purchase tickets using my Ventra card, but I suppose not.

    Thanks.

  • what_eva

    The problem is that the app only purchases tickets that are electronic. You show your phone to the conductor on the train, you don’t end up with a paper ticket, which it sounds like is what you want.

  • Kevin M

    I can’t use the app, as I don’t own a device that is compatible with it.

    Now, if Metra would enable the ability for me to purchase tickets at their vending machines by scanning my Ventra card, that would be excellent.

  • I can’t use the app, as I don’t own a device that is compatible with it.

    That is a foreign concept to the people around here.

  • Kevin M

    And yet, I am sure that I am not alone.

    Technology often creates winners and losers. As an app-of-the-day society, we’ve lost touch with the value in backward-compatibility or long-term dependability.

  • Cameron Puetz

    Enabling Metra vending machines to deduct value from your Ventra transit balance the same way turnstiles do would be a great step toward a universal fare system. Cubic, the vendor behind Ventra, already does something similar with Caltrain and the SF Clipper Card.

  • Metra decided to do something innovative. They jumped past what other transit agencies do around the world, which is build a “tap in, tap out” (with a contactless card, like Ventra) infrastructure, or give conductors devices that can scan the contactless card.

    Obviously relying on an app for Ventra card-based payments leaves out a lot of people.

    But remember that Metra claimed it met the requirements of the law when they said you could buy Metra tickets at the station with the MasterCard retail debit side of your Ventra card/account.

  • I think Metra views its main desired customers as “people who already have smartphones and large data plans.”

  • R.A. Stewart

    You are not alone.

    Though in my case it’s partly my demographic (a little older than dirt, a little younger than God).