Ventra to send different messages to riders after they tap card

  • The CTA is directing the vendor of Ventra, its new fare payment system, to change some of the messages riders see when they tap their cards on bus and rail readers.

    The CTA said Friday it wants to give more detailed information to riders when they seek entry onto the system. Some riders have complained about Ventra reader messages telling them they have low account balances even though they have unlimited passes.

    Other riders told RedEye they are confused when they tap their card on a reader only to be denied entry even though they have enough money to ride. The CTA said it has upgraded readers to prevent these glitches.

    The rollout for message changes will begin this weekend and continue for two weeks, the CTA said.

    These messages will change:

    >> "Tap below" will change to "touch below"

    >> "Stop check account" will change to "stop insufficient fare"

    >> "Stop tap again" will change to "please touch again, card not read"

    Also the "stop check account" screens may indicate to "stop, card/ticket expired," "stop, see customer service" or "stop, repeated use."

    A CTA spokeswoman said last week when it comes to Ventra, the agency has "continued to change things, improve, upgrade, refine, as we've gone along."

    Meanwhile, Ventra continues to meet the performance standards CTA laid out last year in order for Ventra vendor Cubic Transportation Systems to get paid, according to a performance report the CTA released Friday.

    The three performance standards--lowering average customer service call wait times; processing Ventra taps in 2.5 seconds or less nearly all of the time; and 99 percent of Ventra equipment is functioning--must be met for a month before the CTA said it will outline a timetable for full transition to Ventra.

    Ventra said Cubic has been meeting these standards since Jan. 1. The performance report covers data through Jan. 25.

    Ventra comprised 79 percent of total CTA taps last week.
  • (Chicago Tribune file photo)

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