Taking the cautious approach, the CTA announced last week that it would do more thorough testing on its Ventra app that will serve both Metra and Pace riders, and thus delay the launch until this fall.
The CTA is teaming with Smart Chicago Collaborative’s Civic User Testing Group to put the app through its paces. From the news release:
Smart Chicago is a civic group that is devoted to improving lives through technology. Its Civic User Testing Group has tested more than a dozen apps. The CUTGroup will create a pool of testers to use the app in real life to buy fares and manage their accounts by smartphone, providing valuable feedback to CTA, Metra and Pace ahead of beginning the first, larger group of public testing.
Testing includes functions to purchase fares, manage transit accounts and get real-time arrival and departure information for all three transit providers, all functions that will be launched in the first phase of the app.
“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the development of the region’s first-ever transit app and contribute meaningfully to the product that hundreds of thousands of transit customers will use every day,” said Smart Chicago Executive Director Daniel X. O’Neil.
(Transparency note: Dan O'Neil is my brother.)
I do like the CTA being a little more cautious on the release of the app. Perhaps they could have used a little more testing on the Ventra card before it went into full release.
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