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Ventra user sues CTA over new fare card

Updated: October 12, 2013 5:20PM



Public outrage over CTA’s rollout of the new Ventra fare card system has made its way to court.

Transit rider James D. Kenger is suing the CTA and Cubic -- the company paid to develop and administer the new Ventra fare card -- arguing that the passengers are being overcharged on fares.

While the amount Kenger claims he was overcharged was relatively small, the suit seeks class action status, stating that over 1 million Ventra card users could be similarly charged. If true, that could position the CTA to collect a windfall in overcharges, Kenger said.

Kenger, who was recently issued the new fare card, claims he was double-charged for a single-fare on Sept. 24th, according to the suit filled Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Two days later, he placed two calls to a CTA information line to find out when a bus was coming -- a service that is supposed to be free.

Those two calls resulted in six separate charges to his account, totaling $8.56, during a 72 second span, Kenger said. On a separate occasion, Kenger claims he was simultaneously charged for a transfer, as well as full fare price.

When he phoned Ventra’s swamped call center to complain, like many others, he could not get through.

A CTA spokeswoman pushed back against Kenger’s assertion that he was charged for calling the Ventra customer service line.

“Based on a preliminary review, we believe all of the transactions in this customer’s account are transit rides and reloading his account,” CTA spokeswoman Catherine A. Hosinski wrote in an email. “NO customer is ever charged for calling customer service.”

Because the suit is pending in court, she declined to comment further.

Email: bslodysko@suntimes.com

Twitter: @BrianSlodysko



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