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Some companies slow to adopt Ventra

As the CTA prepares to fully transition to Ventra, some companies are slow to adopt the controversial new fare system.

Walgreens, which sells CTA cards, is not currently selling Ventra cards at any of its stores.

"We anticipate installing the necessary equipment in our stores in the next few weeks," Walgreens spokesman Jim Graham said in an e-mail. "I don’t have more specific information at this time."

In a press release last month, the CTA said Walgreens will begin offering Ventra cards at 159 locations "shortly after the September launch."

Ventra became available to the public Sept. 9. Other retailers, including CVS and Jewel-Osco, have been selling the cards since that launch.

The transition to Ventra has been complicated for some CTA riders, who have complained they haven't received their cards or that their cards show inaccurate balances. CTA President Forrest Claypool said last month that some glitches were expected.

In the meantime, the first Ventra transition deadline is next week.

Starting Monday, riders with Chicago Cards will no longer be able to load value onto these cards online or at rail vending machines. Some Chicago Card users have complained they have not received their Ventra cards yet, despite confirming their address in August.

Ventra has admitted a delay in mailings on its Twitter feed. Chicago Cards will not be accepted on the CTA after Nov. 15.

Monday is also when machines at rail stations will no longer sell disposable magnetic stripe cards. These cards can still be purchased through retailers. Riders who have disposable magnetic cards can still use these cards until Dec. 15.

Also slow to sign onto Ventra is employee benefits program WageWorks.

"WageWorks is currently in negotiations with CTA and we expect to implement Ventra for the November benefit month," WageWorks president of Commuter Services Dan Neuburger said in a statement sent to RedEye.

Other benefits programs, including Benefit Resource, told RedEye they have started the transition.

"We have said that customers who received pre-tax transit benefits through their employers would be gradually transitioned through the fall," CTA spokeswoman Lambrini Lukidis said in an e-mail.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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