The CTA's Ventra card rollout has been rocky - and sometimes scary.
And certainly good fodder for Halloween costumes. Hat tip to Jim for sharing.
Chicago Transit Authority, CTA, Ventra card
funny, I just got my ventra cards a week after I broke down and got one from the machine. now more fun straightening it all out.
I got one of those phone calls from Ventra 'customer service.' I explained I was merely doing what this person's coworkers have done to me when I hung up on him.
No, it didn't help. But he wasn't going to help either, so i just didn't waste my time or his.
They might not be co-workers. Apparently the people making these calls are paid by CTA while the others are Cubic if I read previous articles correctly.
That's what the Sun-Times said, or more precisely that CTA is paying another contractor to make the calls.
But, I guess that if Cheryl was activated properly and is happy with how her boss said she'll get transit benefits, it doesn't matter.
The "UNVALUED CUSTOMER" was a good touch.
Since this is a transit blog, I guess someone wouldn't submit a picture of a costume of a letter from BCBS explaining why the options are so strange next year. But not to get into Dennis Byrne and Richard Davis (and Chicago Political Commentary) territory, at least Pres. Obama said he was taking responsibility (fwiw, not much) as opposed to CTA sending out Tammy Chase to blame someone else, again, which seems par for the course at CTA. If CTA is talking about swift discipline, it should fire whoever came up with this Ventra system, and everyone who reports to and including Brian Steele (except in the reprographics shop), and, of course, anyone who has contract management authority.
FTR, I didn't yell at the guy, I just hung up on him.
I say this because I understand Robert Kelly is complaining that his union members are being verbally abused by people who have had problems with this ridiculous card. Which is a shame--it's not transit workers who are the problem. It's transit executives who simply don't care what kind of heck they're putting us through.
I just don't get how a project this big and expensive gets rolled out without extensive technical testing and business consulting. Any reasonable tech firm backed up by good business analysts and consultants would have seen all these problems a mile away. Did nobody think they should check to see how long these taps would take to register in real world conditions. If so, then who thought it made sense to roll it out with those kinds of delays. Did nobody think it was foolish to make the card such that you need to take it out of your wallet if you don't want your credit cards to get charged?
I've generally been happy with the service on the CTA until the Ventra nonsense. This should be in the dictionary under 'incompetence.'
1. Test. yes. Especially when Utah TA said that it had trouble with connectivity of fare care reading machines on buses.
2. Need to take it out: Depends on who you think is foolish. I previously said than someone who shows their wallet or another bank card on CTA property is foolish.
3. My point still is that the CTA should admit responsibility instead of sending Tammy Chase out to say that this stuff doesn't happen. However, the incompetents at the CTA never admit what they are. Similarly, with regard to the Blue Line collision discipline yesterday, we won't know if there were any incompetent employees until the NTSB report comes out, but we sure can't take CTA's or ATU's word on either side of the story.
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