Together, social service providers in Chicago spend over $1,000,000 on Ventra cards and tickets every month to offer transit assistance to their program participants. But Ventra is costly and burdensome to providers. That’s why CJC has spent more than two years working with our members to make sure that the Ventra system meets their needs.
We first sat down with CTA in 2013 to discuss Ventra. In 2014, we released a report with modest recommendations for change. But after several meetings and over 2 years of waiting for improvements, we found that service providers continue to face the same challenges they did in 2013.
This report includes findings from our most recent survey and recommendations from community organizations for improving Ventra.
- Bulk orders, which typically exist for efficiency, are inefficient and inconvenient. Ventra uses outdated paper order forms and checks, rather than online stores with credit card payment options.
- 63% of respondents report long wait times to receive bulk orders of tickets or cards—some as long as 2 months.
- Without better bulk order options, providers resort to spending hours at Ventra vending machines, buying hundreds of tickets in increments of 8–which is the maximum number of tickets sold per transaction.
- Cubic (the private contractor that operates Ventra) is collecting a 50 cent fee on paper tickets—earning over $280,000 yearly from providers. That could buy 112,000 more rides if the fee were waived.
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Please visit wire.cjc.net/VentraReport to read the report and share our recommendations on Twitter and Facebook.