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redeyechicago.com

What to do if you lose your Ventra card

By Tracy Swartz

RedEye

5:48 PM CST, January 20, 2014

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After riding the No. 22 Clark bus last month, TJ Holly of Rogers Park noticed his pocket was a little lighter. Thankfully, his wallet was still there—but his Ventra card was gone.

He logged onto ventrachicago.com Dec. 15 to report his card missing and request a replacement card. And then he waited. And waited some more.

In the meantime, he walked instead of riding the bus. Then he bought a new card from a Ventra vending machine. His replacement card never came in the mail, though Ventra says normal delivery of replacement cards is seven to 10 business days.

He contacted Ventra customer service, which gave him incorrect information about a glitch with replacing cards through the website, the CTA said.

After Going Public forwarded Holly’s Ventra customer service correspondence to the CTA media department, Ventra contacted Holly on Monday about his replacement card and salvaging the $15.50 on his old card.

Holly, 30, was not impressed with the process to replace his card. “It just seems a little unreasonable.”

As more CTA riders continue to adopt Ventra, used to pay for 77 percent of CTA rides, they are starting to learn how to navigate Ventra protocol, including card replacement.

A CTA spokeswoman said the agency was aware of “a handful of cases” recently where some riders waited more than 10 business days to receive their replacement card.

“We've heard from a small number and we're investigating why,” CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.

If riders lose their registered Ventra cards, they are encouraged to call 877-669-8368 or log onto the Ventra website to report the card as lost or stolen, which inactivates the card so the balance is protected.

Riders can choose to receive a new Ventra card either in the mail or by visiting the Ventra customer service center at 165 N. Jefferson St. The balance from the old card is transferred upon new card activation.

Riders without registered Ventra cards can buy a new card at a retailer or online. That balance is lost.

Adam Webb, 33, slipped on some ice on the Near North Side two weeks ago. The Edgewater resident said his Ventra card was in his coat pocket and the card cracked on the chip, rendering it useless.

On Ventra’s website, he requested a replacement card, which had not arrived as of Monday afternoon. He bought a second card in the meantime but said he had 10 days left on the 30-day pass on his old card.

“The process is frustrating. [It] needs to be streamlined,” he told Going Public.

Stationary
A weekly dispatch from a CTA station of note
This week: 43rd Green Line station
One day you’re in, the next day you’re out. This Bronzeville stop was showcased in a chase scene in the 1973 Robert Redford movie “The Sting.” Now, the historic dance hall by the stop also featured in the movie is abandoned (but hoping for revivial) and the lots next to the station are vacant. This station could use some nearby development to make it a star again.
Next up: Garfield Green Line