Here are two CTA news items you may have missed last week.
CTA doubles hiring of military veterans: The Chicago Transit Authority more than doubled the number of U.S. military veterans hired by the agency in 2013. Last year, the CTA hired 194 military veterans, bringing the total number of veterans working for the agency to 353. Veterans have joined the CTA in a wide variety of positions, from bus operators and flagmen to mechanics and customer-service assistants. Seventeen now serve in manager or coordinator positions.
Efforts to increase veteran’s hiring began in May 2012, according to a news release. That’s when CTA President Forrest Claypool signed the CTA’s first-ever executive order creating a veterans hiring preference. The order set a CTA goal to attract at least a 20 percent pool of veterans during the application process for positions, including drivers, mechanics, engineers, managers and other workers.
Cubic continues to meet Ventra performance standards: The announced late last week that Cubic Transportation Systems, which is responsible for rolling out the Ventra card fare payment system, that continues to meet the performance standards set by the transit agency. Those requirements included lowering average call wait times to Ventra customer service to five minutes or less to speak to an operator; all Ventra reader taps process in 2.5 seconds or less, 99 percent of the time; and vending machines and card readers on buses and at rail stations have a 99 percent availability or “uptime.”
For the week of Jan. 12 through Jan. 18, Ventra comprised 77 percent of total fares. The CTA earlier this month indicated that by next month it would continue with its stalled full rollout of the Ventra payment system. That means that magnetic stripe cards and Chicago Card Plus cards would start to be phased out.
So stay tuned next month for that announcement