Big Ventra fail was top CTA story for 2013

CTA Tattler proudly display the Ventra card he activated in less than five minutes! Too bad most CTA customers weren't so lucky.

CTA Tattler proudly display the Ventra card he activated in less than five minutes! Too bad most CTA customers weren’t so lucky.

Of course, the biggest CTA news story for 2013 was the botched rollout of the new Ventra card fare payment system.

CTA customers didn’t start actually using the cards till August, but the mess started earlier in the year.

In March, we reported on the lack of transparency on fees for Ventra debit card hurts CTA. And we noted where Claypool went wrong on Ventra card mess.

And then came the actual rollout.

  • First, users got emails about how to activate their new Ventra cards many weeks before they got the actual card. This led to a lot of frustration and head scratching.
  • Then there were reports of the wrong debit card being charged, and tales of double-charging – which the CTA denied.
  • By October, when the rollout was supposed to be in full swing, it was obvious there were big problems, and the CTA postponed a deadline for mag stripe card refills.



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  • This is all because The Bigwigs don't take the train like the rest of us. And if they did, they'd have sooooooooooo much security, like the petite woman I saw one day accompanied by 2 uniformed cops on the Red Line. She acted like she was going to be assaulted by everyone of the train.

    Had she used the train like the rest of the Working Class, she would have known there's no "real" traffic at 11 AM and most of the trains are empty.

  • In reply to ApresSki:

    I saw Forrest Claypool on the train once. Of course, he was sitting there staring at his phone so he wouldn't be able to notice the people standing. The CTA has a rule about that--employees stand if there is anyone standing.

  • Also, the big story was that until Emanuel told Claypool to say something, the consistent story from Tammy Chase and Brian Steele was that it was all the passengers' fault. Haven't heard much from them lately, and maybe someone can keep it that way.

    I see that you didn't link to all the stories about "Steele says that if you do it this way...."

  • Kevin, you deserve a lot of credit here. I learned what I learned about Ventra--both the fact that it was coming and the range of rollout problems--via the Tattler long before they were mentioned in the larger media outlets.

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