Ventra app shows the world that Chicago is still an innovator



Photo by Megan Schuller.

By David Villegas
Staff Reporter

Last week it was announced by Cubic Transportation Systems, the company in charge of the Ventra fare system, that the Ventra app has surpassed the one million mark in app downloads after being launched less than a year ago. The Ventra system is shared with not only the CTA, but also Pace and Metra.

Yet even if there are some public transit riders who still complain about using Ventra, this news shows us the bright side of a city which is regularly shown its negative side to the world.

In an article written in the Chicago Tribune by Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas “Transit agency: CTA’s Ventra app downloaded 1 million times,” she describes scenarios in which this app has made riding on either Metra, the CTA or Pace much easier.

This app also makes it useful to get on a Metra train faster instead of buying and using paper tickets.

Rosenberg-Douglas explains to readers how anyone can go through the entire Chicago area with the power of this one app, getting us closer to the goal of uniting all three of the public transit entities with a single payment system.

It is worth noting that people who live in other cities get jealous when the Ventra system has become better than the payment system of the public transit in their cities. An article that appears in titled “Video: Seattle Man Marvels At Chicago’s Ventra App In All Sincerity” shows us how a man from Seattle gives compliments about Ventra to a local TV station.

Mae Rice, who writes the article, gives the readers details on the problems Seattleites face using the ORCA card which is used for their transit system. The article highlights how other transit systems still need to catch up on using technology to their advantage.

In August, the app won the 2016 Innovation Award which is annually awarded by the American Public Transportation Association. The features which are used by the riders of the CTA, Pace and Metra have been named innovative by the APTA.

Most of its mobile app users feel like the app should have been introduced to the public earlier.

Delays in release may have annoyed some Ventra users, yet the launch has shown that the app developers were able to create an app that is functional to the all of the public transit users in the Chicago area.

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