CTA eliminates 149 jobs, some related to new Ventra fare system

As Ventra comes in, CTA jobs go out.

A total of 149 positions have been eliminated, the CTA announced today. About one-third of those positions are currently vacant. The cuts and reorganization should save #13 million per year.

Some of the job cuts were related to the introduction of the new Ventra payment system, as positions related to fare payment and collection were eliminated. There were 40 union members who lost their jobs, most of them related to the switch to Ventra. They will get a chance to switch to other jobs based on union rules.

A little more than 60 non-union workers were laid off. Some may be able to apply for about 30 new positions being created.

The CTA still is looking for $10 million to balance this year’s budget. It’s hard to say how much these cuts will help, though probably not a whole lot coming so late in the year.


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  • I noticed a few years ago, that North Side routes where a substantial number of riders used smart cards rarely ever had broken fareboxes anymore. That especially went for the 136, 146 & 147.
    But the South Side routes I rode, mostly 4, 6, 9, 49 & 55 had the occasional broken farebox as the motors & gears that moved the cash & farecards through the box would wear out or jam.
    I assume that with the majority of riders using Ventra next year, broken fareboxes will become a thing of the past.

  • Why do you think the Ventra system will be used more than the Chicago Card, in terms of the farebox being used less?

  • In reply to chris:

    The cash fare is going to $3 & no transfers, so anyone with half a brain will get a Ventra card as the Ventra price will remain at $2.25 & 25ยข for a transfer.
    Cash fare for two buses = $4.50
    Ventra fare for two buses = $2.50

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Good! I hate it when people pay in cash. Should eliminate a lot of its usage. Do you mean cash fare for two buses = $6.00?

  • In reply to chris:

    You're correct, I zonked out on that.
    Cash fare for two buses = $6.00
    Ventra fare for two buses = $2.50

    Now they need to start charging a full adult fare for strollers [that aren't folded up]!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    Look below, you zonked out a lot more than you thought.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    There hasn't been any indication of that the cash bus fare is going up, which is only accepted on buses. The L supposedly doesn't accept cash fares, so if you don't have a Ventra card and aren't tapping your bank card, you have to buy a Ventra ticket, which is $3 and includes two transfers (as well as the 50 cent manufacturing fee).

    chris points out that most of the rest you mention is specious. CTA was saying in the early 2000s that it had to replace its obsolete fare boxes, but said, in response to the Auditor General's report which mentioned that that it was no longer necessary, since most of the fares are being paid with cards. There was also the more recent article about bus loading being slow at Union Station because 14% of the riders use cash as opposed to 6% overall. I also assume that most Union Station boardings are on 151 and 156, north side routes (although probably from the west side Kedzie garage) as opposed to #1.

    But if Emanuel is going to go back on his promise that the "base fare of $2.25" isn't going to be changed for the length of the current collective bargaining agreement, CTA would have to hold a meaningless public hearing to raise fares, as it did with regard to the Ventra ticket. Do you have a link to that hearing notice?

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The cash fare on buses is not changing and is not going up to $3
    The cash BUS fares are the same before and after Ventra::
    Cash fare for two CTA buses : $4.50 ($2.25 + $2.25)
    Cash fare for two Pace buses: $3.50 ($1.75 + $1.75)
    Cash fare for one CTA bus plus one Pace bus: $4 ($1.75 + 2.25)

    Assuming the rides are taken within two hours:
    Ventra fare for two buses if first bus is CTA: $2.25 ($2.00 +0.25)
    Ventra fare for two buses if first bus is Pace: $2.00 ($1.75 +0.25)

    Note that there is one actual change: Pace is going to eliminate their transfer card at the end of the year. It is currently possible to pay $2 in cash on a Pace bus and get a transfer card good for two more rides on Pace within two hours. As of December 15, if you want to ride multiple Pace buses and pay in cash (not Ventra), you'll have to pay $1.75 for each ride.

    The only thing that costs $3 is the disposable ticket that is sold at 'L' station vending machines (except O'Hare) only. It includes two transfers (not valid on Pace) within two hours for no additional charge.

  • On the main point $13 million a year isn't going to do much to recoup the $450 million cost of the contract.

    I also am suspicious whenever an employer says "we'll make up the deficit by not filling vacant positions," since they weren't spending the money, anyway. That happens in private industry, and just means that the beancounters have run amok.

    Speaking of CTA beancounters, I see that the September meeting has gone by and the August Board Presentations have not been posted on the web. Maybe Emanuel doesn't need them. I do see from the Salary Spreadsheet that Claypool got a raise, and now makes exactly $$205,501.88. I bet he can't live without the $1.88.

  • They should make people who hold up boarding by paying cash pay more,nothing more annoying especially in winter,it's 2013 people not 1713

  • They should make people who hold up Boarding by paying with cash pay more,nothing more annoying especially in winter when these people are not ready,it's 2013 people not 1713

  • In reply to airportguy2:

    They already do, in that cash bus fare is $2.25 without receiving a transfer, while using a car is $2.00 with one transfer at 25 cents and the second free.

    Ventra doesn't affect that, except that (according to Olaf) if you speed up stuff by using your bank card on a bus, CTA is still charging you as though it were cash.

    I take it you haven't ridden a bus lately.

  • In reply to jack:

    "card" not "car"

  • Now everybody can be held up by people tapping cards repeatedly until the reader says "Go". Much better. My record is 7 times so far, and no it was not in a wallet or covered in any way.

  • In reply to Petrd1:

    My CC+ doe that sometimes.

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