January 21, 2014

Chicago nonprofits raise concerns over Ventra card costs

CHICAGO — The Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) switch to the Ventra fare card has made it more difficult for many nonprofit and social service agencies that provide clients with free fare to use the system, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The cash-strapped agencies told the paper that, because of CTA plans to phase out the old transit cards as part of its transition to the Ventra fare payment system, they will either have to spend more on public transportation or reduce the level of transportation they can provide.

The agencies were buying CTA’s magnetic stripe cards, which don’t cost anything, and all the money spent on them went toward transportation costs. However, the Ventra smart card costs $5.00 and to receive $5 in transit credits in exchange for the money paid for the card, users must register the card and include a permanent address. That poses a challenge for many social service clients, experts told the Tribune. For the full story, click here.

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