Ventra Glitches Cost CTA $1.2 Million In Free Rides

frustrated woman with mouth...
frustrated woman with mouth...

Glitches from the Chicago Transit Authority's new fare payment vendor have cost the agency more than a million dollars in free rides in a two-and-a-half month period, according to the transit agency.

CTA officials say Ventra's contractor, Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., will reimburse the agency for the $1.2 million loss, the Tribune reports.

"This is the amount we are submitting to Cubic for reimbursement. Cubic has reviewed our methodology and they have indicated to us that they will reimburse us," CTA spokesman Brian Steele said.

Reimbursements for the fare reader malfunctions cover the time period from Oct. 1 to Dec. 19, the Associated Press reports. The majority of the malfunctions happened on buses resulting in 909,121 free bus rides -– or $1.18 million in lost revenue -- while glitches aboard trains accounted for $32,458 in lost fares.

CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase told CBS Chicago the more than 900,000 free rides "equals about half of an average CTA weekday ridership, so in the big scheme of things it is a smaller chunk."

Steele told the Sun-Times there's the possibility the CTA will charge Ventra for additional free rides from after Dec. 19 if the agency's calculations show any lost revenue.

In November, Ventra servers crashed during rush hour leading to a meltdown resulting in some 15,000 free rides.