Thursday, October 10, 2013

CTA adjusts fare payment options

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The Chicago Transit Authority moved Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, to restore and retain, for now, use of magnetic strip cards in CTA vending machines, after two days of only offering its new Ventra fare payment system.

CTA emphasized it still was committed to use of Ventra, being supplied by San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems. CTA President Forrest Claypool said Cubic has added customer service staff to aid riders in the transition, which he stressed was advancing successfully.

"We want our customers to have the full access to all transit fare payment options during a period in which we can get the customer support apparatus to be able to support the inquiries that are coming in — which have been unprecedented," Claypool told local media.

Claypool said magnetic stripe card users, or 75% of CTA ridership, have had no problems transitioning to the Ventra card. But CTA acknowledged that registered Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus holders were promised Ventra cards in the mail with easy access instructions, which "has not been executed effectively."

CTA still plans to stop accepting the Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus on Nov. 15. Reloading money onto existing magnetic stripe cards in circulation also will no longer be possible. All magnetic stripe card users must switch over to Ventra by Dec. 15, CTA said.

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