The CTA is cracking down on fraudulent rides taken with free-ride and reduced-fare cards.
Since October 2014, the CTA has collected more than 1,800 free and reduced-fare cards during the card-verification efforts. It estimates that the lost potential annualized revenue from the fraudulent use of those cards at $2.8 million.
Last month is when the CTA began performing card-verification efforts at rail stations throughout the city and suburbs, verifying that individuals using any type of free or reduced-fare card were the cardholder listed on the face of the card.
Early in November I heard from a CTA Tattler reader who said he was immediately stopped at the Fullerton Red Line turnstile by a security guard. The guard took his U-Pass from his hand, claiming that they were doing U-Pass enforcement. They were doing this to everyone as they went through the turnstiles. The big thing that irked this reader was the bullying tactic by the security guard - who was not a police officer.
Meanwhile, in an audit of about 600,000 RTA free, reduced-fare and paratransit cards, the CTA found that slightly more than 1 percent were being used at a frequency far above the typical average for similar cards. The approximately 1 percent of cards CTA identified in the audit were used 10 or more times a day, at least twice in a 7-day period.
That kind of fraudulent use costs all of us legitimate riders. So I applaud the CTA for their action.
And, never miss a post! Subscribe now to receive CTA Tattler via email. Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.