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Ventra cards


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#621 BusHunter

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:55 PM

This is a pain in the butt. First I had trouble registering the card then the registering process is so aggravating ive now forgot my password. Ventra did not allow me to use my password I wanted to use and I had to put uppercase letters and lowercase letters and whathaveyou. I got to see everyone doing this. So far I'm out 6 bucks and I didn't even board a bus. I'm using about six emails and don't even have the password for that. So I guess I have to start over.

#622 Amtrak41

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 01:12 PM

Tracy Swartz was on the noon news, describing someone in Cleveland who got about 200 cards, as well as the previous guy on the West Side, Apparently, WGN doesn't post its news videos, though.

 

As usual, she says that some CTA spokersperson told her that this was a small percentage of something.

 

Who gets to pay the postage to send 'em back ?



#623 Busjack

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 01:43 PM

This is a pain in the butt. First I had trouble registering the card then the registering process is so aggravating ive now forgot my password. Ventra did not allow me to use my password I wanted to use and I had to put uppercase letters and lowercase letters and whathaveyou. I got to see everyone doing this. So far I'm out 6 bucks and I didn't even board a bus. I'm using about six emails and don't even have the password for that. So I guess I have to start over.

I guess everyone is going with the strong passwords. After this became too complicated (i.e. T. Rowe Price's website accepted an 11 character password, but its Quicken link, it turned out, only 10), I make sure to write down the passwords on paper before putting them in a computer. Some are so bad as to ask for a pet's name when you don't have one, but one such site accepted "nonexistent."

 

Who gets to pay the postage to send 'em back ?

I assume Tammy Chase will go to Cleveland and pick them up herself. :rolleyes:  Otherwise, it is unordered merchandise, and the recipient has no obligation to return it.

 

Probably the real question is who paid the postage to send it. Hopefully it came out of MetaBank/First Data's hide.



#624 jajuan

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 01:56 PM

And the one rider Dan Lasky, who was reported to have been sent more than 100 cards, told the Tracy Swartz that he got about 271 emails from Ventra's system and that he actually had to activate a filter on his email address because from what he told Swartz, he was getting an email message from Ventra about every 15 minutes until they finally stopped Sunday morning. He said that he opened his mailbox Thursday morning to find the more than 100 envelopes from Ventra and a note from the mailman saying that he had a tray full of additional mail waiting for him at the post office apparently from Ventra. And the crazy part is the poor guy rides the CTA only a few times a week.



#625 artthouwill

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 03:12 PM

So far so good.  Purchased a new Ventra card at vending machine today and loaded a 7 day CTA/Pace Pass.  Then I went online and registered.  Then I checked the account to see if everything was OK  I have a $5 transit value and a 7-day pass "in queue"   I think it took all of five minutes to do online.  Since I used a noncontactless card to pay for the card, I doublt I have to worry about  money coming up missing from my bank account.   We will see what happens when I actually use my card.



#626 BusHunter

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 03:52 PM

The one thing that noone has thought about is what happens Monday morning when riders discover they can't purchase a transit card. Buy a ventra card right? Well the card is no good until it is registered. So where does that leave riders at the farebox? At the rail stations that will put riders in a cannot ride scenario. I believe there's no way to pay cash fares on the "l", because you could have bought a transit card before. Now that's not an option starting Monday.

#627 Kevin

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:05 PM

The one thing that noone has thought about is what happens Monday morning when riders discover they can't purchase a transit card. Buy a ventra card right? Well the card is no good until it is registered. So where does that leave riders at the farebox? At the rail stations that will put riders in a cannot ride scenario.

 

You don't need to register a Ventra card to use it.* Only to get back the $5 fee. CTA has a video on this process:




* Ventra cards that are mailed to you must be activated prior to use, just like any credit card you receive in the mail. Activation is not required for cards purchased at a vending machine or retailer.



#628 Busjack

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:05 PM

The one thing that noone has thought about is what happens Monday morning when riders discover they can't purchase a transit card. Buy a ventra card right? Well the card is no good until it is registered. So where does that leave riders at the farebox? At the rail stations that will put riders in a cannot ride scenario. I believe there's no way to pay cash fares on the "l", because you could have bought a transit card before. Now that's not an option starting Monday.

The card is good immediately, just that you don't get the $5 transit value until you register. Just looks like CTA or MetaBank will be holding onto an extra $5 for a while.

 

And, of course, there is also the $3 Ventra ticket.



#629 owine

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:07 PM

The one thing that noone has thought about is what happens Monday morning when riders discover they can't purchase a transit card. Buy a ventra card right? Well the card is no good until it is registered. So where does that leave riders at the farebox? At the rail stations that will put riders in a cannot ride scenario. I believe there's no way to pay cash fares on the "l", because you could have bought a transit card before. Now that's not an option starting Monday.

Single ride Ventra Ticket: $3



#630 jajuan

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:06 PM

So far so good.  Purchased a new Ventra card at vending machine today and loaded a 7 day CTA/Pace Pass.  Then I went online and registered.  Then I checked the account to see if everything was OK  I have a $5 transit value and a 7-day pass "in queue"   I think it took all of five minutes to do online.  Since I used a noncontactless card to pay for the card, I doublt I have to worry about  money coming up missing from my bank account.   We will see what happens when I actually use my card.

You should have little to worry about Art. I did the almost exact same process (bought Ventra card with loaded 7-Day CTA pass instead rather than CTA/Pace one) three weeks ago to the day and have had no problems using my card. If your card had been a contactless card, it's unlikely you would see funds disappearing from your bank account. Folks who have reported that happening were those who made the mistake of tapping their whole wallet against a Ventra reader and had one of their other cards equipped with RFID technology dinged instead of or in addition to the Ventra card. As long as you don't tap your wallet while having other contactless cards, you shouldn't fall victim to the same disappearing funds scenario.



#631 Kevin

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:25 PM

I guess everyone is going with the strong passwords. After this became too complicated (i.e. T. Rowe Price's website accepted an 11 character password, but its Quicken link, it turned out, only 10), I make sure to write down the passwords on paper before putting them in a computer. Some are so bad as to ask for a pet's name when you don't have one, but one such site accepted "nonexistent."

 

A few password tips:

  • I strongly recommend using a password management tool. Browsers typically offer this, but better options include LastPass (free, but a bit clunky interface-wise) and 1Password (paid, but easier to use.) Both LastPass and 1Password use strong encryption to protect your password data and allow you to only have to remember a single password. Plus, they make the next couple tips more feasible.
  • Avoid using the same password for multiple sites, especially when it comes to Ventra. There is strong suspicion that Ventra passwords are stored in plain text (a major Security 101 no-no), meaning if someone breached their database they could easily obtain your password.
  • Use fake and different answers for security questions. Security question answers are typically stored in plain text, so if a site is hacked they could obtain your questions/answers and use that information to try to gain access to other accounts. Again, a password management tool can help you keep track of what answers you gave. (Security questions are generally a bad idea, but unfortunately many sites continue to use them.)


#632 jajuan

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 07:25 PM

A few password tips:

  • I strongly recommend using a password management tool. Browsers typically offer this, but better options include LastPass (free, but a bit clunky interface-wise) and 1Password (paid, but easier to use.) Both LastPass and 1Password use strong encryption to protect your password data and allow you to only have to remember a single password. Plus, they make the next couple tips more feasible.
  • Avoid using the same password for multiple sites, especially when it comes to Ventra. There is strong suspicion that Ventra passwords are stored in plain text (a major Security 101 no-no), meaning if someone breached their database they could easily obtain your password.
  • Use fake and different answers for security questions. Security question answers are typically stored in plain text, so if a site is hacked they could obtain your questions/answers and use that information to try to gain access to other accounts. Again, a password management tool can help you keep track of what answers you gave. (Security questions are generally a bad idea, but unfortunately many sites continue to use them.)

The LastPass and 1Password sites sound like the password data encryption option that my virus protection software uses to allow me to also use several different passwords while only needing to remember one, that of the identity safe on my virus protection software. That password is NOT the same as the password used to sign into my virus protection account (It's not allowed which is great). I still keep a little notebook packed away in a safe place in my home though with those passwords as an extra safety precaution and to keep myself from becoming too mentally lazy with not having to regularly remember all the passwords I use.



#633 brownliner

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:01 PM

 

 
Cubic plays a roll in this. They discontinued the chip technology in CC/CCP, essentially pushing CTA to modernize the fare system (and, in turn, award Cubic a nice big new contract).


okay, so CC/CCP had to go away. The replacement didn't have to be awful. And everything about ventra is. The web interface is awful, the telephone system is worse, the 20 seconds to scan a card getting on the bus, the lack of communication during the transition, the attempts to squeeze money out of everyone at every possible chance.

#634 BusHunter

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 10:51 PM

 
okay, so CC/CCP had to go away. The replacement didn't have to be awful. And everything about ventra is. The web interface is awful, the telephone system is worse, the 20 seconds to scan a card getting on the bus, the lack of communication during the transition, the attempts to squeeze money out of everyone at every possible chance.

And i'm told the up to half hour it takes to credit an account. Buy your rides in advance Monday riders.



#635 jajuan

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 01:07 PM

And i'm told the up to half hour it takes to credit an account. Buy your rides in advance Monday riders.

Actually as far as retailers go, they will likely still have some transit cards and magnetic stripe passes on hand and therefore will still be able to sell them. But what's going to happen is starting Monday, if they haven't already reordered those cards, they basically will be selling down what they have on hand. They won't be able to order more once they run out. So if you haven't seen it happening already you basically will have a hoarding situation start to kick in among any procrastinators to buy up what old cards they can to stretch out what time they can between now and December 15th, the day that NONE of the old fare media outside of cash will be accepted (Chicago Card and CCP users, however, only have until November 15th before their cards are no longer accepted).



#636 BusHunter

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 05:40 PM

30 day passes are sold out. 7 days you can still find, but everything is while it lasts. One retailer showed me what she had it was mostly 1 day passes. On monday we will be hearing about riders not being able to board and long lines at the ventra machine. It took me about 3 minutes to do a transaction so there will be lines. BTW, cumberland/blue line now has 3 ventra machines and one transit card machine. Today I observed one passenger look at the ventra machines with a lost look on her face. She did eventually find the transit card machine by the turnstiles however.

#637 jajuan

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:26 PM

30 day passes are sold out. 7 days you can still find, but everything is while it lasts. One retailer showed me what she had it was mostly 1 day passes. On monday we will be hearing about riders not being able to board and long lines at the ventra machine. It took me about 3 minutes to do a transaction so there will be lines. BTW, cumberland/blue line now has 3 ventra machines and one transit card machine. Today I observed one passenger look at the ventra machines with a lost look on her face. She did eventually find the transit card machine by the turnstiles however.

To be fair though, a Ventra vending machine gives you quite a bit more options to select from than a Transit Card vending machine. The former, you're choosing between both CTA and Pace fare media to buy or reload on a card with the option of paying cash, debit (used as credit) or credit cards. On the latter you're only choosing between buying or reloading a transit card or reloading a Chicago Card or CCP with the payment being cash only. So it only stands to reason that a transaction may take a little longer on a Ventra machine. But the Ventra machines are still stupid proof so a three minute transaction shouldn't be too bad unless you just don't know how to follow instructions. And don't forget retailers will be selling Ventra cards. So if one goes to a retailer and knows he's going to just opt to buy a Ventra card should the retailer not have the transit card or pass he wants, it makes little sense to go to a rail station if it can be avoided. That's not to say there won't be lines at the rail stations, but one could only hope it's mainly folks who bypassed a retail location.

 

As for what's available, actually the Jewel location at Ashland and Roosevelt still had everything except 7-day passes. That was this morning though. Whether they ran out of anything else besides 7-days after that I don't know, but it's possible. But I actually saw more people there looking for Ventra cards. And the reason I happened to learn they had all but 7-day passes is because a lady came there looking to buy a Ventra card loaded as a Transit Card, but the service desk clerk misunderstood thinking she wanted an actual Transit Card and she said to the lady she was in luck because they still had some of all the old cards except 7-day Passes but probably not for much longer because they were selling down what they already had and wouldn't be able to order more because of the Monday deadline with the continuing Ventra switchover. That's when the lady realized she misspoke and told the clerk she meant to say she wanted a Ventra card loaded up as a $20 Transit Card.



#638 jajuan

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 10:58 PM

I almost forgot that I was thinking of what Busjack was saying in regards to the savings CTA would actually see in moving things over to Ventra. Yes they will still be collecting cash fares and using the old fareboxes to do so for now, but it occurred to me that one thing CTA, and Pace for that matter, would no longer have to worry about is the cost of repairing a farebox that's mucked up because a genious passenger drops coins in the old card readers because they're moving too fast to pay attention to which slot their dumping their coins like. That detail dawned on me this morning when I was on a 9 Ashland bus and a guy did just what I described and jammed up that reader, which meant folks with old cards got free rides on that bus this morning since the reader was jammed. You have not only the cost of repairing that part of the farebox but also the cost of lost fares that couldn't be read and recorded from customers with the stripe cards. Both of those costs are lost revenues.



#639 Busjack

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 08:05 AM

I almost forgot that I was thinking of what Busjack was saying in regards to the savings CTA would actually see in moving things over to Ventra. Yes they will still be collecting cash fares and using the old fareboxes to do so for now, but it occurred to me that one thing CTA, and Pace for that matter, would no longer have to worry about is the cost of repairing a farebox that's mucked up because a genious passenger drops coins in the old card readers because they're moving too fast to pay attention to which slot their dumping their coins like. That detail dawned on me this morning when I was on a 9 Ashland bus and a guy did just what I described and jammed up that reader, which meant folks with old cards got free rides on that bus this morning since the reader was jammed. You have not only the cost of repairing that part of the farebox but also the cost of lost fares that couldn't be read and recorded from customers with the stripe cards. Both of those costs are lost revenues.

The old card readers will be gone, but people will still find a way to much stuff up.* In that Pace has a solicitation for fare box rebuilding parts, some cost is going to be incurred. The biggest cost, though, is still having to use armored money trucks to retrieve the money in the fare boxes. It hasn't been indicated whether CTA or Cubic has the responsibility to get the cash out of the vending machines.

 

On your 3 minutes at the vending machine point, CTA customer assistants have always hovered over them; however when things become much more complicated than just "the slot didn't accept my dollar bill" they will be even more preoccupied. However, if the call center is any indication, CTA isn't going to offer more customer assistants to get the line moving. Maybe people will figure out how to load up eventually.

 

*I know someone who stuck a dime down a department store self checkout machine's slot that spits out receipts, and, of course, went to the person operating the self service lanes to demand her dime back.



#640 jajuan

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 09:03 AM

The old card readers will be gone, but people will still find a way to much stuff up.* In that Pace has a solicitation for fare box rebuilding parts, some cost is going to be incurred. The biggest cost, though, is still having to use armored money trucks to retrieve the money in the fare boxes. It hasn't been indicated whether CTA or Cubic has the responsibility to get the cash out of the vending machines.

 

On your 3 minutes at the vending machine point, CTA customer assistants have always hovered over them; however when things become much more complicated than just "the slot didn't accept my dollar bill" they will be even more preoccupied. However, if the call center is any indication, CTA isn't going to offer more customer assistants to get the line moving. Maybe people will figure out how to load up eventually.

 

*I know someone who stuck a dime down a department store self checkout machine's slot that spits out receipts, and, of course, went to the person operating the self service lanes to demand her dime back.

Well the old readers are wired into the old fareboxes' memory so yes some initial cost is incurred in doing some rebuilding. That's actually intuitive. But along the lines of mucking things up I was thinking along the lines of once the old readers are removed the only slot any rider will see will be the actual coin slot. 

 

As for my 3 minutes point, when I say the Ventra machines are stupid proof I refer to the machines asking in plain straightforward language as shown in the linked video Kevin provided and from my own personal experience whether a rider is buying a whole new Ventra card, getting a Ventra ticket, or reloading a previously purchased Ventra Card. It asks you quite clearly which fare option you're purchasing or reloading and quite clearly asks which form of payment you wish to use and has the slots for those payments clearly marked. So as I said, unless you have zero skills in following simple instructions the vending machine process shouldn't be so bad or anymore confusing over using the Transit Card machines. And yes I do concede their might be lines tomorrow, but the speed of the line should really depend more on how quickly a person reads through the options and spots the fare option he needs on his card (or ticket).

 

When it comes to folks registering their cards to get the $5 fee back, that's always depended on whether the person is technophobic; whether he's internet savvy; whether he has internet access; everyone becoming accustomed to Ventra cards potentially being used for more than transit and thus making the connection the access code folks had problems figuring out is ultimately Ventra asking that person to pick a PIN number just like a regular bank asks one to due when registering/activating a brand new debit card (Ventra needs to do better to make that part clear and not use it as an option for registering the card for transit only purposes); and how user friendly the Customer Call Center is.





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