CTA Ventra card readers enhanced to speed boarding, help riders "hit the mark"

New CTA Ventra readerAfter going through at least three different Ventra card reader symbols, the CTA last week rolled out a new one that they no doubt hope takes the uncertainty out of exactly where a rider is supposed to tap his Ventra card.

The enhancements include adding easy-to-understand graphic decals to every rail turnstile and bus Ventra reader to identify the optimal location for card placement. Featuring a yellow circle surrounding a contactless card, the CTA hopes the new decals will help customers new to Ventra or infrequent users, including out-of-town visitors, with the placement of their Ventra or contactless card for easier payment and boarding.

Also, the CTA is repositioning bus Ventra readers to directly face boarding customers as they get on the bus. The change was made to speed boarding and improve passenger flow onto buses at each stop.

Here’s hoping these changes finally do the trick!

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  • Why doesn't it have "TAP HERE"?
    More stupidity from CTA & Cubic!

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    The picture shows "TAP BELOW" on the screen. Maybe they should change it to "toque debajo," "wybierz poniżej. or "请点击下面"* like most of the voting materials have.

    There was the ambiguity that before the indication was to tap near the screen; maybe this finally resolves the issue.

    *Courtesy Google Translate; heck if I know what any of these mean, or if the software will recognize the Chinese symbols.

  • Why do they seem to continuously not understand where to put the card readers on buses? You think they would have learned from when they moved the Chicago Card readers a few years back on the buses. When boarding buses its just natural to look for the fare collector to be near the bus driver.

  • I really don't understand how people don't know where to tap their card. This isn't that difficult.

  • As I said on another thread, they should have come up with this six months ago, before the rollout. If the current decal makes sense (which it more or less does) then it just proves nobody bothered to even think about the issue before, even though they were getting paid big bucks. And thinking is supposed to be part of the job, is it not?

  • I don't think it's a question of people not knowing where to tap their card. I think the new sticker is the CTA blaming riders for something that is the CTA's fault.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    Ever watch "Undercover Boss"? Sometimes the boss catches an employee complaining about how stupid customers are and what a royal pain they can be and they don't deserve service and they should all go away?

    Wonder what would happen if the top CTA brass went undercover and heard that kind of talk. Give out bonuses?

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    1. Claypool wouldn't figure it out.

    2. ATU [rail] Local 308 President Robert Kelly has already said a lot of this to the media. Look, for instance, at the post about ATU members complaining through him that passengers are insulting them because of Ventra. CTA PR reaction: it is all fiction.

    3. If one [like CTA] is running a business that is not based on profit, and employees are generally protected by union contracts, do you think anyone cares about customer relations? As Metra points out, the only point is that those who have clout and want patronage jobs for their armies are the only ones who need to be satisfied. I'm sure it is no different at CTA.

  • In reply to jack:

    Oh, but making money is so evil. Everyone knows it is clout and patronage, and the unavailability of other options, and the unlimited supply of money to make up for waste and abuse, that assure the customer is as well served as the lip service given to that sentiment. /sarc

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Problem with the CTA is that if it is short of money, the responses are either "we need more funding," i.e. a tax increase, or "we need to cut service." Nothing like "we have to make the customer experience better so we can extract more value from them," which is the usual corporate mantra, although not quite so expressed (the word "extract" usually isn't used).

    Even Pace can get $4.00 a ride by making the experience on the I-55 routes a bit better (bypass traffic jam, coach bus, and wifi), but Claypool wants you to think that the "Crowding Reduction Plan" accomplished something other than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

  • In reply to jack:

    That might even work, if they were not basically boneheaded about communications. Apparently they think they're communicating to boneheads. The most crafty and brazen PR can't entirely cover up a bad attitude.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Which gets down to many of us having blasted the PR department for at least 8 years now.

  • Not sure if anyone noticed, but on Monday when trains were getting delayed they actually announced very audible and clear warnings about what to expect. This was appreciated because I knew what to expect and I could actually hear what they were saying instead of just a weird inaudible sound coming from the speakers.

  • In reply to chris:

    I would certainly like to know how that happened, and whether clear audibility was the case in all stations or just some. Audibility has been a serious problem for years, and if concrete steps are at long last being taken then I would like to be able to give the CTA some credit for it.

  • Talking about enhancements, this seems like a natural reaction to the user-unfriendly functionality of the Ventra card:

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