CTA customers who have the federal transit benefit tied to the Chicago Card Plus account are among the last to be transitioned to then new Ventra contactless fare payment system.
And we're getting nervous.
I am one of the small number of these CTA customers. And after getting an alarming email from a transit benefit administrator last week, I checked with the CTA to see when we'll get our cards and how the transition will take place.
It turns out that the CTA notified benefits administrators last week that they have until Oct. 25 to upload their employees’ monthly election for transit benefits to a spreadsheet that will be provided to Ventra in time for customers to have their transit benefits available on their cards for Nov. 1, according to a CTA spokesperson. From his email:
The spreadsheet is being sent out to employers shortly -- ahead of when it needs to be sent into Ventra. The spreadsheet is a one-time procedure – previously employers used a CTA web site and next month they’ll use a Ventra web site. The information and format in which they are providing their employees’ information is virtually identical to what they’ve done in the past – in other words, it’s the same thing they’ve done for years.
In the meantime, the customers who received CTA pre-tax transit benefits through their employers are expected to receive their Ventra cards around Oct. 21. Users will need to activate them so the cards are ready for use Nov. /1.
Of course, this still makes me nervous because we all those Ventra cards have been late arriving in mailboxes.
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