When CTA President Forrest Claypool told a Chicago Tonight audience that the CTA would earn $500,000 in fees from the Ventra card, he made it sound like the bulk of that money would come from fees charged for use of the debit card.
Not so, says a CTA spokesperson. He contacted me last week to set the record straight. He said Claypool had misunderstood the question.
Actually, the bulk of those fees will come from advertising revenue generated by big digital screens that will be part of the Ventra vending machines. Other ads will appear on the back of receipts issued by the Ventra machines.
Another source of fees come from interchange fees -transaction fees that payment processors charge to retailers. These are fees that retailers pay to processors. The businesses pay these, not customers.
The smallest portion of fees earned from the Ventra deal will for portions of the monthly dormancy fees, part of the $1.50 ATM withdrawal fees, and a part of the $5 fee paid for lost or stolen card replacements. All of these fees are shared with Cubic Transportation Systems.
Meanwhile, the chair of the state House Mass Transit Committee will hold a hearing Monday to question CTA officials about the Ventra system and how it will work. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the Bilandic Building in Chicago, 160 N. LaSalle St., Room C-600.