Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tribune - Union to CTA: Scrap Ventra until problems are fixed

I wonder if you agree with this. Is it time to push for a slower implementation of the new Ventra system in order to iron out all the kinks. Also I hope no one out there is putting their frustrations with the new fare collection system on CTA employees, they can't control the new policies of their employer even if they are considered public employees.
“The Ventra program is not working. There are people who are getting triple-, double-, quadruple-billed. Their credit cards are being billed that shouldn’t be. People are mad, they’re angry,’’ said Robert Kelly, Local 308 president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

“But they are mad at the wrong person,’’ Kelly said at union headquarters downtown. “CTA should stop (Ventra) now, pull back, until they can work out all the kinks.’’

CTA officials said they have no intention of delaying the four-month rollout of Ventra through the end of the year.

The headaches started in September, when thousands of Chicago Card customers either didn’t receive Ventra cards as promised or they could not activate them. It was followed by difficulties loading the cards with money and using them on buses and trains.

“We are working on solutions to address problems with Ventra,’’ CTA spokesman Brian Steele said Thursday. “Kelly’s voice is new to this issue.’’

Kelly said widespread rider frustration over trying to use the Ventra system, including waiting in long lines at rail station turnstiles and fare vending machines, has the potential to “set people off,” and the CTA’s front-line workers are on the receiving end.

“You don’t know who is coming through that turnstile,’’ he said. “You don’t know if they are having a bad day. But when you put a system in place that doesn’t work, and then you tell all the customer service assistants, ‘Well, figure it out as people come through?’”

Steele said the CTA has no evidence of an increase in threats or violence against CTA workers in connection with Ventra. The CTA bus driver’s union, ATU Local 241, did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether the union supports its affiliate’s call for the CTA to temporarily suspend Ventra in favor of the old fare system.

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 Joe Zekas ran the real estate news website YoChicago . If you have been following that site and their social media channels i.e. YouTube o...