Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ventra and the eventual return of the Red Line South

I wonder how you all are adjusting to your new Ventra cards. It seems CTA realizes that their customers aren't adjusting very well and have made some necessary adjustments accordingly. If you use a Chicago Card or a Transit Card those are still options for the time being. Originally after Monday you wouldn't be able to add money to any of those options for paying your CTA fare.

Incidentally I got my Ventra card in the mail recently. My only frustration with the system is having to register my card online. It doesn't seem to save the information entered online and when I do and successfully there's always some type of error. It's irritating, but I've only come to one conclusion...with a new government program or initiative there are bound to be initial problems.

The coming of Ventra comes to mind now because when I got on a Dan Ryan shuttle bus on Wednesday morning a CTA bus supervisor boarded our bus at 95th and made an announcement. He let us know that soon (being October 20, 2013), the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line will return to service at 4 AM. The free rides will be over and if we have Ventra cards it's time to get them registered so that if you paid the $5 fee you can get that back. Additionally you can use these cards as pay-as-you-go or get one of several CTA passes available on the Ventra card.

You know this was good customer service by the supervisor and he should be commended for it. We all will be thankful to be riding on a newly reconstructed L route and for many it has been a long spring-summer-fall without it in service. While the CTA is bring back a service many of us took for granted now we have to come to grips with a new fare system!

BTW, there is an actual countdown clock to the re-opening of the Dan Ryan branch over at the CTA's Red Line South webpage.

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