CTA Provides Reconciliation of Free Rides Provided Related to Fare Payment Issues

December 30, 2013
Agency to bill Cubic for Ventra fare payment issues as performance improves
The Chicago Transit Authority will seek $1.2 million in reimbursement from the vendor providing the Ventra fare-payment system, to cover more than 930,000 free rides provided to customers because of Ventra fare-equipment issues.
From October through Dec. 19, the CTA calculated that 930,061 free rides were provided on buses and trains because Ventra fare readers were not functioning correctly. The number includes about 909,000 bus rides and about 21,000 rail rides.
The amount of free rides represents about one-half of an average weekday’s CTA ridership.
Since the CTA established new performance criteria for Cubic, Ventra performance has improved significantly and the number of free rides has dropped dramatically. The CTA continues to monitor Ventra’s performance closely.
Among recent Ventra improvements:
  • Tap times have improved significantly, expediting payment and boarding for customers: Bus taps average 0.99 seconds and rail taps average 0.56 seconds
  • System availability (equipment uptime) is above 99.5 percent for rail turnstile gates and bus readers. Vending machines are at 98.7 percent.
  • Customer-service call center hold times are below two minutes on average
  • Currently, nearly 75 percent of CTA rides are taken using the Ventra system. Total Ventra rides exceeded 56 million since the system was launched in late summer.
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