CTA provides update on Ventra transition, performance

January 10, 2014
As Ventra performance improves, the CTA could announce as early as next month a new transition schedule to the new fare payment system
The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that as of January 1, Cubic Transportation Systems, the developer of the new Ventra fare payment system, had met the three specific performance standards established by the CTA in November 2013, significantly improving Ventra’s performance and CTA customers’ experience with the system.
The Ventra system must maintain the three performance level standards for another month before the CTA moves toward the next steps in fully transitioning all CTA fare payment to Ventra. The goal is to ensure consistent, top-notch performance before moving forward.
Subsequently, assuming the three performance standards are still being met at the conclusion of that period, the CTA anticipates announcing a new timeline to fully transition the remaining 25 percent of CTA customers to Ventra, the new “open fare” contactless card payment system that replaces its aging system and allows the CTA to meet the requirements of state legislation for a universal-fare system for regional transit agencies by 2015.
“Last fall, we demanded that Ventra be significantly improved to meet the service quality that our customers deserve,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “Since then, we’ve monitored very closely Cubic’s performance, and are pleased to see that the system has been working smoothly for nearly two months. We want to make sure that the performance remains consistent at the levels we’ve required before resuming the transition to Ventra.”
In November, the CTA announced new accountability measures for Cubic to improve Ventra’s performance. Those included lowering average call wait times to Ventra customer service of five minutes or less to speak to an operator; processing all Ventra readers taps in 2.5 seconds or less, 99 percent of the time; and achieving a 99 percent availability or “uptime” on vending machines and card readers on both buses and at rail stations.
Also today, the CTA provided its weekly performance update on Ventra, which showed that along with meeting all of CTA’s standards, there have been nearly 70 million Ventra “taps” on the system since it rolled out late last summer and that nearly three of every four CTA rides is taken with Ventra.

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