Claypool pointed to the Ventra customer service call center as one example. At CTA’s direction, Cubic tripled the number of operators to 300, reducing the average wait time to an average of about 5 minutes on Nov. 4 — more than 80 percent less than one month ago. To ensure further improvements, the CTA has directed Cubic to partner with a leading national call center company to expand capacity for peak call volume demand and to monitor calls for quality.
Other areas of service being addressed include:
Customers charged for multiple taps, related to delay between tap and "go" signal
Customers were reporting tapping their card and not getting an immediate “go” so they would tap again or move to a different lane to tap, which would result in being charged more than once. To address the issue, Cubic this week updated the Ventra reader software with improvements that will process transactions with 2.5 seconds or less 99 percent of the time.
In addition, readers now include a “processing” screen that lets the customer know that the transaction is processing, and a “low balance” screen that lets the customer know that their balance is under $10. Third, a small change to the CTA’s “passback” rule will allow customers to continue to have passback privileges (up to 7 rides per Ventra card) but will require a turn of the turnstile per tap to lower the chance of being charged more than once. These changes will provide customers with more information needed to make a decision whether to wait or re-tap and will significantly reduce incidents of being charged for multiple taps.
Ventra reader malfunctions
Customers have reported long lines at rail stations, primarily during rush periods and delays boarding buses. The CTA’s analysis of data shows that 5 percent of transactions are taking more than 2.5 seconds, the desired standard.
To address the issue, the CTA directed Cubic to make software updates to ensure 99 percent of Ventra readers process transactions in 2.5 seconds or less. By mid-November, upgrades to Ventra reader software should improve transaction/boarding times.
Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus transition
To help complete the transition of remaining Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus customers, the CTA has taken a number of steps including:
- Sending reminder emails in early October to customers who were mailed cards but hadn’t yet activated
- Calling 100K+ customers who were mailed cards to ensure they received them and assist with activation
- Changing the ventrachicago.com website to easily allow customers to retrieve usernames and passwords from homepage
Customers who still have not received their Ventra cards can:
- Buy a Ventra card from a Ventra vending machine or retail outlet; register to get $5 one-time card cost refunded as transit value
- Spend down Chicago Card Plus balance; call 888-YOUR-CTA to cease autoload function on Chicago Card Plus.
- For customers who wish to transfer their remaining Chicago Card Plus balances, they can bring their Ventra card and their Chicago Card Plus card along with a photo ID to a balance transfer event or Ventra customer service center at 165 N. Jefferson (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) and balance will be manually transferred over.
- Coming soon: Ventrachicago.com will allow Chicago Card Plus customers the ability to have their balances transferred online to Ventra by providing their Chicago Card Plus and Ventra card information.
As an additional convenience to customers, Ventra will add 11 new balance transfer events beginning Wednesday, Nov. 6, at CTA headquarters, 567 W. Lake, to allow customers to transfer their balances from legacy fare cards including Chicago Card, Chicago Card Plus and magnetic stripe cards to registered Ventra cards.
Customers may bring a maximum of five eligible fare media cards at a time with a combined minimum of five dollars in transit value on the cards to transfer to a registered Ventra card. No unlimited-ride passes (1-,3-,7-, or 30-day) will be transferred, nor will balances on expired fare cards be transferred.