CTA Lays an Egg; or Claypool's Crappy Ventra-Chapter 2

When Ventra was announced, it was touted as an improvement over other CTA payment methods. I had to wonder, why? The Chicago Card and Chicago Card Plus worked fine. Ventra/CTA ads said it would ease my way, at least that was the gist overheard in the audio advertisements blathered on the CTA buses I frequent.

Some ease. As a Chicago Card Plus holder, I received an email to confirm my address and it was said that I'd receive the new Ventra card in the mail. After receiving it, I methodically followed the instruction to go online to register this new card. The only problem was after carefully filling out the information shown on the card I repeatedly get a message "An invalid combination of card data has been submitted."

Double check the input. Card number, correct. Secret CW code, correct. Expiration date on card, correct. "An invalid combination of card data has been submitted."

Okay CTA--come on, who got the kickback?

What a load of crap. The second option is to call, on a telephone to register the card.

How retro. Communicate by telephone? Wow. That will save time for sure.



A week later, nothing changed. Cept now when I call the number 877-669-8368 I was given by Ventra Twitter account--it won't even recognize my phone's input.

So here I am, with a useless Ventra card...issued by the ever more useless PRIVATIZATION of CTA.

Update two, as the VENTRA system spirals out of control.

So I enlisted a specialist, my patient husband to figure this out. With the patience of Zen master, he is so much better at the telephone game.

He takes my ever growing pile of papers, my VENTRA card, and raft of emails with passwords and updated numbers and plugs his headset in--girding his ears for battle with the VENTRA. After a 14 minute wait he gets through, with more time spent to input this, tap dance that and be passed from one part of the magical unknown land of VENTRA to another part.

Exiting after an HOUR, he did the "I think it's done it" VENTRA dance.

Turning to me he added that he couldn't wait to get his still unreceived VENTA card. It was a joke.
Hope it's not like the registered letter from a business associate that took almost two weeks only to sit at the small post office in the South Loop for a week, undelivered.

So share with me Forest, come on, it's just the two of us. Who got this contract and why? Hope it's not going to become like the Governor Ultrasound of Virginia Story, another questionable and unethical deal gone wild.

update THREE
Ah, Ventra. Que relajo!
Two out of three times CTA buses accepted my card today. Must have been my lucky day.
The third time was a free ride on CTA.
Ventra was broken.

Now come on Forest Baby, whose boondoggle was this?

Update FOUR
Cannot manage the new card, it doesn't accept old username and password from the always reliable Chicago Card Plus. No online way to sort out. Have to email. Wonder if this is staffed by underpaid Third World employees.
This is easier?

AND Lastly
Shannon of Ventra saves the day. Using the contact link, she responded to me with the secret.
Your username is your email.
She sent a temporary password that allowed me to complete set up and monitor my card.
FYI, the password you set up needs to be 8 long with caps and lowercase AND some other things.
As I said.

This is NOT easier for us. Just fills someone's pockets with $$.

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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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