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Ventra meets performance benchmarks

Updated: January 10, 2014 2:52PM

If Ventra meets its performance benchmarks for another month, the CTA might set new dates for completing the transition to the fare payment system and finally pay the vendor in charge, the CTA said Friday.

In a Ventra performance update released Friday, the CTA said:

◆ At least 99 percent of Ventra taps registered in less than 2.5 seconds.

◆ The average hold time at the customer service call center remained at less than five minutes.

◆ At least 99 percent of fare readers and turnstile gates worked properly.

In the previous performance report, Ventra machines working only 98.7 of the time instead of the required 99 percent.

CTA President Forrest Claypool has said he wouldn’t pay Ventra contractor Cubic Transportation System a dime until met the three benchmarks.

In addition, Claypool announced in November that he was suspending all Ventra transition deadlines until all Ventra problems are ironed out.

“Last fall, we demanded that Ventra be significantly improved to meet the service quality that our customers deserve,” Claypool said in a press release Friday. “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.”

There have been 70 million taps since Ventra’s launch, and almost three out of four CTA rides are now taken with Ventra.

Ventra launched Sept. 9 amid a flurry of problems, including additional charges for tapping cards more than once, inoperable machines and fare readers, and over $1 million in free rides, for which Ventra will have to reimburse the CTA.

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