9 Benefits of Chicago’s New Ventra Card

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This fall, the Chicago Transit Authority introduced Ventra, an all-new payment system for the city’s public transportation fleet.

Ventra (Latin for “ill-conceived”) ushers in a new era for public transit users by streamlining the payment and boarding processes. For those unfamiliar with the new system, here’s a rundown of the top 9 benefits Ventra has to offer its millions of daily users:

• A Seamless Transition

By the end of November, Ventra will be fully deployed throughout the Chicagoland area. To complete the rollout and prevent any possible glitches and outages, Ventra has enlisted the skills of the federal government to employ the same cutting-edge back-end technology used to power popular, heavily-trafficked successes like HealthCare.gov. 

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• One Personal Phone Call

Based on a service popularized by persons in custody, each Ventra card owner is entitled to one complimentary phone call from a highly untrained customer service representative. Expect a personalized experience with questions tailored to your needs, such as:

“What do you mean, you didn’t receive your Ventra card?”

“What do you mean, you received over two hundred Ventra cards?”

“I’m an asshole?”

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• Innovation

Previously, Chicago Card Plus owners relied on an archaic system that forced customers to tap their card against an electronic reader in order to board a bus or train. Not anymore! Ventra is powered by state-of-the-art technology that conveniently allows passengers to tap their card against an electronic reader in order to board a bus or train.

• Friendly Service

CTA employees have been given direct instruction to provide Ventra customers with the same level of attentive service passengers have come to expect over the transportation network’s 66-year existence. Good luck.

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• Delay? No Way!

Instead of instantaneously boarding a bus or passing through a turnstile, your Ventra card allows you to experience a significantly noticeable delay while your payment “loads.” Take this time to appreciate the sights and sounds the CTA has to offer: overworked employees, impatient customers behind you and the scent of the guy who brings every garbage bag he owns onto your bus or train.

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• Pre-Paid Debit Account

Stop paying for your bank’s free checking account! Your new Ventra card features access to the MasterCard Money Network, an optional pre-paid debit account that combines the utility of a financial institution with the convenience of nothing. Once funded, your Ventra card can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted, including Divvy stations, taxi cabs, ZipCars, bike rickshaws, and other reliable forms of transportation.

• Free Refills

By saving your treat receipt, customers are entitled to a complimentary refill of any Ventra-sized drink between 3 and 5 p.m.*

(*With purchase of a bakery item)

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• Security

In the event your Ventra card is lost or stolen, don’t worry! Our system has taken many steps to ensure that the new owner of the card is entitled to the same level of dissatisfaction as the original owner.

• Future-Proof

Ventra’s first-class convenience and utility could only be made possible by the City of Chicago, the same forward-thinking global force responsible for the successful staging of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and a world-renowned fire. By following in the same progressive footsteps that sold 100 years of parking rights for a mere fraction of their worth, Ventra will be sure to please Chicagoans well into the next century– until being scrapped in favor of another unwelcome outsourced stopgap “solution.”

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Greg Ott is an actor, writer and comedian currently on tour with Second City Theatricals aboard the Norwegian Breakaway. Follow his pictures at instagram.com/gregott

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