CTA
News CTA

Ventra registration providing headaches

Turns out, the waiting is not the hardest part.

Some Chicago Card users said they finally received their Ventra cards in the mail but had difficulty activating and then registering their cards online because they never received Ventra emails telling them their usernames and passwords.

Sarah McClain, 30, of Lakeview, said she received her Ventra card last week. She said she was able to activate the card but not register it because she didn’t receive the Ventra email. Megan Brady, 32, of Old Irving Park, was in a similar situation.

“You can't do anything with the card without the super secret email code,” Brady wrote to Going Public. “Don't have three hours to wait on hold; they won't respond to e-mail.”

In order to get the username information, riders called Ventra’s customer service number, 877-669-8368. Problem is, that number was indundated with more than 10,400 calls Monday, the first transition deadline for Ventra, the CTA’s new fare payment system.

On Monday, Chicago Card users were no longer allowed to add money to their cards while rail stations no longer sold disposable magnetic stripe cards. Chicago Card Plus accounts will autoload money until Nov. 15, the CTA said.

Mondays are typically Ventra’s busiest call days, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said. Going Public on Monday was disconnected by Ventra six times, and on the seventh call, got through after a 56-minute wait. (Ventra said the wait time would only be 19 minutes.)

“The call times that many customers are experiencing are unacceptable, and we apologize for the inconvenience," Chase said in an email. "The CTA recently directed the Ventra vendor to double its customer service staff to meet call demand, and we expect to see improvements shortly."

The CTA said riders could get their username information through the Ventra activation number, 888-824-8802, which had much shorter wait times, Chase said.

Meanwhile, on its Twitter feed, the CTA said after delays, Ventra had finished mailing out cards to Chicago Card users on Thursday. The goal for these mailings was mid-September. Riders are supposed to receive their cards in seven to 10 business days after the mailing.

The CTA said as of Monday, there were more than 953,000 Ventra accounts, and as of Friday, more than 11 million Ventra taps. The CTA said ventrachicago.com saw its highest rate of traffic Monday with more than 40,000 page views.

Ventra is replacing Chicago Cards on Nov. 15 and disposable magnetic cards Dec. 15.

Don’t be blue

The Active Transportation Alliance, a group devoted to improving walking and riding transit and bikes; the Avondale Neighborhood Association and the Addison Avondale Mural Garden are hosting a workshop Tuesday focusing on how to develop the Addison Blue Line station and surrounding area. The meeting will be from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the mural garden at Addison Street and Avondale Avenue.

Stationary

A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note

This week: Kedzie Green Line

Inside the Kedzie stationhouse in East Garfield Park, there’s a nice view of the Chicago skyline. Unfortunately the view outside the station isn’t so nice. GP visited the station this weekend and there was garbage outside the auxiliary entrances. There’s vast green space by the station that isn’t being used for anything but dumping garbage.

Next up: Logan Square Blue Line

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • CTA seeks to upgrade cell service in subways

    CTA seeks to upgrade cell service in subways

    Riders on the Blue and Red lines won't have to brace for an Internet blackout every time they're taken underground on trips to the Loop under a Chicago Transit Authority plan, announced Thursday, to expand wireless service.

  • First Ventra deadline is Monday

    First Ventra deadline is Monday

    Starting Monday, Chicago Card users can not load money onto their card while disposable card users cannot buy these cards at rail stations.

  • Autoplaying videos: A pitiful and pathetic idea from the beginning

    Autoplaying videos: A pitiful and pathetic idea from the beginning

    I hate having the thought in my head that it took something as upsetting as Alison Parker and Adam Ward’s horrendous killings to finally showcase how pathetic the autoplay feature is on various media and social websites.

  • Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Group to Park District: Build DuSable Park

    Where Lake Michigan meets the Chicago River is three acres of overgrown weeds and shrubs. It is referred to by some as a "ghost park" because it is hidden in plain sight.

  • Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    Rejoice! Adele's new album is rumored to arrive this fall

    There's a fire starting in my heart and it's making me realize it's been kind of a while since Adele released an album. Her last full-length "21" dropped in 2011 and I barely remember that year it feels so long ago. But now, there's some good news to fill our recently Adele-less lives and it's...

  • Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Chicago rappers Probcause and Saba team up on 'M.I.A.'

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

Comments
Loading
68°