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With Ventra Back On The Rails, Transition To The New Fare Payment System Could Soon Resume

CHICAGO (CBS) -- According to the Chicago Transit Authority, there could be a new transition schedule for the Ventra fare payment system as early as next month.

This comes after the CTA set three performance standards for Cubic Transportation Systems -- the company behind Ventra -- back in November. As of January 1st, the CTA says Cubic has met these standards.

The performance standards mostly revolve around CTA customers' experience with the system. After widespread complaints that Ventra cards weren't working and wait times with Ventra's hot line were astronomical, CTA paused the transition until the following three performance standards could be met: wait times on Ventra's hot line are under five minutes, 99 percent of fare card machines and readers are working, and 99 percent of card readers register riders' fares within 2.5 seconds.

If Ventra continues to meet these goals, old systems of fare payment could soon bite the dust.

"Last fall, we demanded that Ventra be significantly improved to meet the service quality that our customers deserve," said CTA President Forrest Claypool in a CTA press release. "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."

As of Friday (January 10), things were still running smoothly for Ventra, according to the CTA's weekly performance update. If you've been waiting to switch to the new fare payment system, now might be the time.

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