Chicago Ventra Card

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In case anyone missed the article from a while back on why we are replacing the perfectly good Chicago Card with Ventra:

Trib article said: A former CTA technology chief who after leaving helped his company execute a $454 million Ventra card system contract will start working again at the CTA this week, officials have confirmed.

John Flynn, who had been manager of Chicago operations for Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. since June 2010, will rejoin the CTA as vice president of technology, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said. Flynn's annual salary will be $158,000.
...

Steele said the decision to rehire Flynn does not represent a conflict.

"CTA's ethics policy governing post-employment only applies to individuals leaving CTA to go to another position outside the agency, not coming to CTA," Steele said.


This is why I love Chicago.

Link to article

linglingfool said:   In case anyone missed the article from a while back on why we are replacing the perfectly good Chicago Card with Ventra:

This is why I love Chicago.

Link to article


Considering that July is here in the city, I find it laughable that Ventra still states, "starting sometime this summer" the program will be rolled out. I remember reading that those with Chicago Card and CCP would be first to get the ventra card (or notified), but haven't heard anything yet.

dpid said:   Considering that July is here in the city, I find it laughable that Ventra still states, "starting sometime this summer" the program will be rolled out. I remember reading that those with Chicago Card and CCP would be first to get the ventra card (or notified), but haven't heard anything yet.

Exactly. It seems like more and more of the Ventra readers I pass are turned on, but none of the vending machines within stations are close to operational yet.

linglingfool said:   dpid said:   Considering that July is here in the city, I find it laughable that Ventra still states, "starting sometime this summer" the program will be rolled out. I remember reading that those with Chicago Card and CCP would be first to get the ventra card (or notified), but haven't heard anything yet.

Exactly. It seems like more and more of the Ventra readers I pass are turned on, but none of the vending machines within stations are close to operational yet.


"Starting sometime this summer" - ok...well based on the e-mail I got I would expect that I should have my Ventra card within a couple of weeks. So, if we can start using them in August, that meets their criteria.

The fact that anyone might be using them by end of summer is more than I would have expected from the City.

I read a couple days ago that they're coming out in August for the U-Pass and for "beta" testers. As an employee of a university, I dread ye disaster of our entitled students being the guinea pigs, the complaining will be nonstop.

From Chicago Tribune said: The new Ventra transit fare card will go into overall use on Sept. 9 for all CTA and Pace customers, while Chicago Card customers and college students in the U-Pass program will get a jump-start beginning next month, transit officials announced Monday.

Has anyone received their card and tried using the debit functionality yet? Still waiting for mine in the mail.

mine is supposed to be here by week's end if I can believe their email

I've received the card, and have submitted the information to enable the debit functionality, but nothing has changed on the website afterwards (it still shows the link to "Activate Prepaid Debit Account").

Likewise, something is odd on the Ventra "Account Landing" page - it shows a transit balance of $5, but a Status of "Closed".

There were also some issues with activating the card...

On the positive side, there are LOTS of free ATMs around AZ - they seem to use a nationwide network...

Looks like all the bugs are not worked out yet...

Hmm, I'm in Chicago for 5 weeks in about a month, I'll be paying close attention to see if I can rack up some points on this before I leave town...

From the Ventra FAQ:How do I load funds to my Ventra Cardís Prepaid Debit Account?You can load funds through a participating reload agent; use direct deposit to receive your pay, government benefits and other funds on your Card; or transfer funds from a personal bank account.†Click here to find a participating Debit Account reload agent.†The link gives you a bunch of Moneygram and Green Dot locations. While it's another great way to launder a Green Dot prepaid card (if you can find a RA or similar store that will sell you one on credit), people will not be able to use a CTA vending machine to load the debit account.

Hi Ben- Did you get a chance to try the Ventra card out?

oradbatic said:   Hi Ben- Did you get a chance to try the Ventra card out?
††
I have had a disaster trying to get info on the pre-paid side. †I won't go into the whole story, but the MoneyNetwork side that deals with the pre-paid aspect didn't seem to know/understand about their Ventra Portal.
My card is in some pseudo-active state, and they have not been able to assist. †The MoneyNetwork people are based out of the 3rd world somewhere and I even got a customer service rep from the Ventra CTA to conference in with me.
We both agreed that the MoneyNetwork people were clueless and they were supposed to escalate my case to a manager at the CTA side who was supposed to liaison to MN management.
I need to call back, it has been a few weeks...but I doubt anything has changed.

BenH said:   
oradbatic said:   Hi Ben- Did you get a chance to try the Ventra card out?
††
I have had a disaster trying to get info on the pre-paid side. †I won't go into the whole story, but the MoneyNetwork side that deals with the pre-paid aspect didn't seem to know/understand about their Ventra Portal.
My card is in some pseudo-active state, and they have not been able to assist. †The MoneyNetwork people are based out of the 3rd world somewhere and I even got a customer service rep from the Ventra CTA to conference in with me.
We both agreed that the MoneyNetwork people were clueless and they were supposed to escalate my case to a manager at the CTA side who was supposed to liaison to MN management.
I need to call back, it has been a few weeks...but I doubt anything has changed.

††
You might want to wait until some of these things are ironed out and more people get activated. †I still haven't gotten my Ventra card, nor an email (and I had Chicago card previously). †I've heard my friend had to wait 30 minutes just to speak to someone because her Chicago Card plus linked to bank was throwing off activation on Ventra. †People on Tribune were complaining about long waits, dropped calls, etc. †

A little humor about this. 5 reasons you'll love the Ventra card

So after like 2+ months of being locked out of my Prepaid account after initial activation, I did a bit of social engineering and got in touch with some high level executives over at First Data/Money Network (guys who run the Prepaid side of things). Once I actually made contact with them and explained that their customer service couldn't solve my issues in over 2 months they were extremely professional and accountable and got me fixed up within a week (they needed to meet with some internal IT folks to see what was up with my account).

So, the good news is that my Ventra card and Prepaid side are totally operational.

The bad news is that I don't see anyway to really take advantage of the PrePaid part of the card. I though that I might be able to use VRs, because the newest VRs have the MoneyNetwork logo on them (and this is a MoneyNetwork card). However, the VR loads won't work. The Ventra prepaid site does state that they take GD (doesn't mention VRs) - so likely these don't work on the standard MN network, but have some restrictions as a "partner."

As I know of no places to purchase GD with credit in Chicago, it makes it pretty difficult to do any sort of MS with the card.

Apart from that - I hardly even use CTA anymore, so haven't even gotten a chance to try out the card for transit.

BenH said:   So after like 2+ months of being locked out of my Prepaid account after initial activation, I did a bit of social engineering and got in touch with some high level executives over at First Data/Money Network (guys who run the Prepaid side of things). Once I actually made contact with them and explained that their customer service couldn't solve my issues in over 2 months they were extremely professional and accountable and got me fixed up within a week (they needed to meet with some internal IT folks to see what was up with my account).

So, the good news is that my Ventra card and Prepaid side are totally operational.

The bad news is that I don't see anyway to really take advantage of the PrePaid part of the card. I though that I might be able to use VRs, because the newest VRs have the MoneyNetwork logo on them (and this is a MoneyNetwork card). However, the VR loads won't work. The Ventra prepaid site does state that they take GD (doesn't mention VRs) - so likely these don't work on the standard MN network, but have some restrictions as a "partner."

As I know of no places to purchase GD with credit in Chicago, it makes it pretty difficult to do any sort of MS with the card.

Apart from that - I hardly even use CTA anymore, so haven't even gotten a chance to try out the card for transit.

††
Props to you. †I have little patience for these things and gave up since my AMEX card also functions on the system. †I don't get transfers though, but then again, I don't use CTA for transfers.




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