CTA Says Ventra Is Getting Better [UPDATE]
By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 22, 2013 9:20PM
Update 4:45 p.m. CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase followed up with Chicagoist on monitoring these performance metrics moving forward. Chase reiterated that while the summary report is impressive but "we’ll monitor the data until we believe Cubic has gotten to the point where they’re hitting performance benchmarks consistently." Chase added a new transition timetable for Ventra would be announced only when "we believe that (the performance metrics) are firmly where we expect them to be."
CTA released a report Friday showing what the transit agency claims are improvements in how Ventra is performing since CTA announced it would be monitoring the shared fare system’s performance and holding contractor Cubic Transportation Systems accountable for the rash of problems plaguing the system.
The report summarizes functions that directly affect CTA riders including total taps of Ventra cards; active Ventra accounts; total calls received at Ventra’s customer service center and average hold times per day; and the time it takes for between a rider tapping a Ventra card to a reader and recognition of the card.
As of Friday, Ventra accounts for more than 63 percent of all CTA rides and there were nearly 980,000 active Ventra accounts.
Call center performance has improved according to the CTA, but the agency allowed that more progress is needed in this area despite a 10 percent decrease in average per day call volume from October to November and a separate company being hired to handle incoming calls.
Call center hold times have decreased from an average of six minutes, 36 seconds on Nov. 15 to two minutes, 24 seconds on Nov. 20.
CTA cites a software upgrade for improvements in tap response times but says more improvement is needed in this area.
A CTA spokesperson told Chicagoist the agency is pleased with the improvements but wouldn't go into detail as to what else the agency is monitoring or if CTA will announce a new timetable to complete the transition to Ventra. These reports will now be released on a weekly basis in the interest of transparency, the spokesperson said.