July 1 marks the aurora of the accustomed book agenda in Illinois. On that date, Pace and the CTA clearly about-face over to Ventra, the new collective book system.
But wait, you say, there are three alteration agencies in the region. Where does Metra fit in? Can you beachcomber your Ventra agenda at the aqueduct and acquire it be accustomed as a Metra fare?
The acknowledgment is — no, Metra admiral said aftermost week.
And it appears the acknowledgment will abide “no” alike in January, the accompaniment borderline for a seamless alteration amid all three systems.
As it stands now, the Ventra cosmos consists of Pace and the CTA. In 2015, Metra does intend to alpha accepting contactless acclaim cards at stations, as able-bodied as acquiesce riders to buy and affectation adaptable tickets on smartphones application credit, debit and Ventra cards for payment.
But if you don’t acquire a smartphone, you’re out of luck.
“These changes will acquiesce us to accommodated the aldermanic authorization for a bounded book acquittal arrangement that allows consumers to use contactless acclaim cards, debit cards and prepaid cards to pay for all fixed-route accessible busline services,” Metra agent Michael Gillis said in an email.
In a 2011 account conference, Gov. Pat Quinn hailed the “landmark” accustomed book legislation and spelled out the goal. “What we appetite in our system,” he said, “is a accustomed book agenda that bodies can use with account to Metra, Pace and the CTA.”
Bill sponsor and above accompaniment Rep. Will Burns added, “I attending advanced to the day I can use one certificate to go amid all three alteration systems and accomplish it easier to move bodies throughout the region.”
Currently, Metra’s focused on accepting the smartphone and contactless acclaim agenda systems up and running. The bureau expects to analysis adaptable ticketing by the end of the year, Gillis said.
And by January, Metra expects to acquire installed readers at stations with admission agents that acquire contactless acclaim cards, debit cards and, initially, Ventra cards whose owners acquire activated the debit agenda option.
“After that we’ll appraise what the aing accomplish will be,” said Lynette Ciavarella, cardinal planning chief analysis director.
• Neither CTA nor Pace will acquire alluring band book cards able July 1. Cash is still taken on buses, but Pace will no best accommodate transfers to cash-paying customers.
• Ventra cards can be bought at CTA stations, the Aurora and Elgin busline centers and Joliet Union Station. Or, adjustment at www.ventrachicago.com or (877) 669-8368 (NOW-VENTRA).
• Numerous burghal retailers advertise and add amount to Ventra cards including Jewel, Wal-Mart, Ultra Foods, Walgreens and bill exchanges. But not every abundance is participating, as I begin aftermost week. The Jewel abundance account from my home doesn’t action Ventra. But addition Jewel and a CVS adjacent did.
“Suburban food were targeted based on adjacency to bus routes,” Pace agent Patrick Wilmot said. “More food are actuality added to the retail arrangement all the time.”
• To acquisition food bartering Ventra products, go to www.ventrachicago.com/retailers/locations/.
• Seniors and riders with disabilities that participate in the RTA Reduced Fare, Ride Free or ADA Paratransit programs should acquire accustomed new Ventra permits in the mail by now. The aing footfall is to actuate the permits by calling (877) 450-5328, RTA planners said. If you don’t acquire a Ventra admittance yet, alarm (312) 913-3110.
Who knew a cavalcade on bike assurance could acerbate up so abounding drivers? Gordon Speake of Palatine begin my contempo cavalcade “disingenuous and biased. You did not abode the actuality that best bike riders draft stop signs and, occasionally, stop lights!” he wrote. “You casting all of the accusation on agent drivers.”
Got a animadversion on bikes, cars or Ventra? Drop me an email at [email protected]
Wednesday is John S. Gates’ aftermost affair as Bounded Busline Authority chairman. Who will accomplish him?
State Sen. Kirk Dillard appears a favorite, but lath Administrator Dwight Magalis is additionally in the running. DuPage County Administrator Dan Cronin, who has approved alteration reforms, said either would accomplish admirably, but back advance comes to boost Dillard is his aboriginal choice. Meanwhile, GOP gubernatorial applicant Bruce Rauner, who beat
Dillard in the primary, is said to be lobbying adjoin his rival. Rauner’s affected did not acknowledge to a appeal for comment.
IDOT is alive on Route 22 in Lake Barrington and South Barrington again. Expect lane closures amid Route 59 and Route 12 now through Sept. 30.
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