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CTA calling riders about Ventra transition

The CTA last week began calling Chicago Card users reminding them about the transition to Ventra, the CTA's new fare payment system.

Customer service representatives have been calling Chicago Card Plus and registered Chicago Card users who have been sent activation information but have not yet activated their Ventra cards.

"If they need help with activation, they’ll be provided guidance on how to activate their card," CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said in an e-mail. "If they need help retrieving their username, they’ll get help with that as well."

The calls are expected to be completed by Nov. 1. Ventra is replacing Chicago Cards on Nov. 15.

One of the major problems with the transition to Ventra has been mailing Chicago Card users their Ventra cards. Delays in mailings meant that some riders did not receive their cards until last week, despite verifying their mailing information in August.

Once some riders received their cards, though, they experienced difficulties activating their card because they didn't receive or lost the e-mail with this information. Chicago Card users make up about 17 percent of CTA's ridership, Chase said.

The CTA voided a deadline earlier this month that prevented Chicago Card users from adding money to their cards in rail stations because of problems with the Ventra call center. The CTA directed Ventra to triple its call center personnel to 300 employees.

About 40 percent of CTA rides are now paid for with Ventra cards, Chase said.

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