Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Ventra Makes The ObamaCare Registration Look Smooth!

I have been writing here about my troubles with the CTA, more often than I would really like.  First off, what is the big difference between Ventra & ObamaCare?

There is an actual need for a change with our healthcare system.  So, why is the CTA switching to a less user friendly system?   Sure, it wasn't perfect, as even my Chicago Card, just last week didn't always registered when I tapped it.

I have been reading online some of the complaints about Ventra;  Trouble with activating or loading money.  Long waits on hold for customer service.  Still waiting for Ventra cards.  Improper charges.   ...and that the Ventra card takes longer to register when boarding a bus or at train stations. Awesome!  I am so looking forward to joining in on the Ventra fun!

Pick a card, any card, just as long as you pick the Ventra card!
Last week, I went to the CTA headquarters, TWICE.  The first time, they were closed, so I just "enjoyed" their lobby.  The next day, I went back, where they did quickly reissued me a new Chicago Card.  When I asked about the status of my Ventra cards, I was sent out in the hall.  (That is where they were answering questions regarding Ventra)

Seems to pretty much sums up Ventra.

CTA on December 15th?
I checked to see my status on my Ventra Cards, (I have three Chicago Cards.  I know, I am such a playa'!).  Two were confirmed, my third one was not, which I confirmed right then and there.

The very next day, I received the two Ventra cards.  It included a "Quick Start Guide" for "Transit and Beyond" BUT it appears that it has very little helpful info on how to quickly start the process of activating your card...In fact, it hardly mentions about the transit aspect and seems to focus on the "Prepaid Debit Account" aspect.  So it should tout "Beyond Transit" if anything.

Kevin O'Neil, a Chicago Now blogger has a better guide on what to do to activate your transit portion of Ventra.

Farm animals are a great option for transportation!
It is amazing, how the CTA transferred their own business responsibilities to another company.  In yesterday's Chicago Tribune:
Pace spokesman Patrick Wilmot said Pace has received numerous complaints from customers who haven't been able to get through to Ventra customer service on the phone. "The best thing for people to do is to refer these questions directly to Ventra"
Parody Ad
In my first article on this, I mentioned how I got the impression that the CTA was hands-off from Ventra.  The Trib points out:
The CTA signed a $454 million contract in 2011 with California-based Cubic Transportation Systems Inc. to create and manage the new fare-collection system that features contactless Ventra cards to replace older fare card technology.
So if you hire a babysitter, or nanny, to care for your children, (just like the CTA hiring Ventra), you too will be free from any responsibilities and should not be bothered with any of the details?

Today's Chicago Red Eye reports:
"The CTA recently directed the Ventra vendor to double its customer service staff to meet call demand, and we expect to see improvements shortly."
Good to know that the CTA is getting somewhat involved.  

You will have to have a phone and online access to register your Ventra card...If you don't, then walk...
Simple instructions, if you are not already actively tied in with a Chicago Card...
Dependability, well, that is apparently not included in the basic plan...
I never got this email, but it would be helpful with making this a bit more convenient...
Welcome to Chicago...
A parody Twitter account, which isn't too far from reality...
The Chicago Card was just working fine.  This was their attempt to get to a cash-free system.  Now with Ventra, they might not only get that cash-free system, but they could see a rider-less system.

From what I can gather, the CTA gets a majority of their funding from other areas beyond their riders.  I am not an accountant, so you can review the CTA's financial statements for yourself, but here's what I have found...

In 2009, the CTA revenue came from:
Federal (FTA) $ 5,848,838
State (principally IDOT) $ 605,111
RTA $ 1,822,519
Plus lots more...
How much came from passengers:
Total farebox and pass revenue $ 505,713 
This says to me, that since the CTA receives supplemental funding for operating expenses, they may be alright with not having any customers.  Perhaps they have something to do with an alternative option for your public transportation...

Transit & Beyond
Is coincidence that both use a double "V" in their logo?  Or have you noticed that the Divvy Bike program just happened to be established right before the launch of the Ventra card.

Divvy bikes cost $7 a day, but must dock after thirty minutes.  Um, who just wants to take a nice walk to work with me?

Ventra columns:
Dump Ventra in 2014!
Ventra, No Change! "Stop. Stop. Go."
Ventra, On The Wrong Track!
Just The Beginning Of The Ventra Nightmare?
Follow The $$$ To Answer "Why Ventra?"
How Ventra Stopped Chicago From Working!
Ventra Makes The ObamaCare Registration Look Smooth!
CTA, A Well Run Company, Like A Runaway Train!
Is The CTA Just Messing With Me?

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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