Thursday, October 03, 2013

CTA, A Well Run Company, Like A Runaway Train!

Back when CC was new!
My troubles with the CTA continue...

Yes, I am still waiting for my Ventra (the more simple, seamless and stress-free) Card, but now, my Chicago Card is acting up.  I pay monthly for an unlimited pass.  I checked its funds and expiration dates online, and both are all-good.

Yet, for the past three days, I went to the same Blue Line train stop, and each time my card did not properly work.  I tried tapping it several times, at each of the available turn-styles, and I have discovered, if I use the very last one and tap about a dozen times, for about 30 seconds, it finally beeps, and grants me access to the trains.

That is not how the Chicago Card is suppose to work.  That is not how any kind of bus pass should work.  If a transit system collects your funds, it needs to provide the service that is mutually agreed upon.

A CTA worker at the train station, (not shown here), told me to go to the headquarters on Wacker.  So off I went.  From that station, I was about 45 minutes away.  When I got there, they were already closed, for about 30 minutes.  Did he think that the CTA was running that fast that I could get there in under 15 minutes?

I spoke with the security desk guard, and explained my problem with the card and how I was sent there.  She told me that CTA workers often send people to the headquarters with bad information and that there was not anything that I could get done at that time.  I would have to come back, (hoping that my faulty card will work one more time).

Even though there was nobody to speak with on the 2nd floor, I realized that she was wrong.  I was able to do something...I could freely enjoy the many festivities in the CTA lobby.

Like reading up on info that I can not get from their workers...

ATTENTION CTA WORKERS: Customer Service closes at 4:30 PM
I could enjoy the art... 

The CTA Cow On Parade, Circa 1999
I could purchase an umbrella with the CTA map from their automatic gift vending machine...

I hope that their umbrella is more reliable than their bus passes!
I could practice putting my bike on their mock bus bike rack...

This may be useful while I have this bus pass, as I can not take an actual bus with my bike!
It is just too bad that I could not spend the night at the CTA Amusement Lobby, as it could have saved me a trip.  Now I have to spend extra funds to go get a working bus pass.

I just hope that the new Ventra Card will be better...

And then, the best news...

At least this video, makes everything seem so easy...assuming that I eventually get a new card, can register it online, and that it indeed works properly...but beyond all of that, yes, it does look simple.

Tony Lossano, Broadcast Producer (TV & Radio, Chicago), amateur bicyclist, a fantastic dog walker, and has never been married to Alyssa Milano.

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