Discussion related to commuter rail and rapid transit operations in the Chicago area including the South Shore Line, Metra Rail, and Chicago Transit Authority.

Moderators: JamesT4, metraRI

  by wilmette2008
 
Found out that the ticket office at Ogilvie now closes at 11:00 at night instead of at 12:40 when the final UP west line train leaves. Not sure if the Ventrure app has anything to do with that?
  by eolesen
 
Unlikely the Venture app, but it might be due to the Ventra app. ;)

Seriously, with more and more people using the app and kiosks also available at Olgilvie, there's less and less reason to keep an agent making $15 to $30/hour to man a ticket window.

My guess is there were a couple retirements or resignations in December, and the railroad opted to cut back the hours of operation vs. hiring replacements.
  by HammerJack
 
Slightly off-topic, but related to ticket sales. Did the One Day Pass valid for unlimited travel within two zones for a day ever get a trial run? I remember hearing about it last year around summer time, but it was 'at a later point this year' (2018).
  by eolesen
 
I don't believe so. It's not an option right now.
  by eolesen
 
I've said it multiple times --- the union apparently has provided job and location protection for current employees, but as individual ticket office agents (outside Ogilvie) retire or quit, they won't be replaced, and the offices will close.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
The abolishment of the Clarendon Hills agency, is just one more "nail in the coffin" turning BNSF from "the Tiffany" into an experience best described as "vile".

I'm "not into loading up" my phone with a bunch of apps (and 75% of those that came pre-loaded have never been touched), so I'm back to paying cash on board inbound - and "standing in line" at CUS for my Return.

On my return from MIA on "Vortex Tuesday", taking my "poor man's way from O'Hare" (Senior; $4.25 each way), it was about a 45min layover at CUS. I sat down in the Headhouse (whoops; Great Hall in Amtrakese), and was promptly ran out by some Amtrak "goons". "Amtrak passengers only, Sir". So it was stand in the half frigid "Concourse" until the BNSF opened the train.
  by ryanch
 
Would they consider selling tickets to the coffee shops, where such exist?

I'm not clear whether Evanston Davis closed, or whether the attendant just missed a day or two. It seems like the coffeeshop could fill the gap.
  by wilmette2008
 
Not sure if the collective bargaining agreement would allow that, and Evanston Davis is still staffed.
  by ExCon90
 
According to some of the posts on here, the coffee shop employees might have to wear safety vests ...
  by erie910
 
Does the Ventra app have the options for reduced fare tickets for holders of the RTA senior cards? Or the weekend unlimited ride pass? The 10-ride ticket? The monthly ticket? How does the app see the RTA senior card to permit the sale of a reduced fare ticket?
  by eolesen
 
erie910 wrote:Does the Ventra app have the options for reduced fare tickets for holders of the RTA senior cards? Or the weekend unlimited ride pass? The 10-ride ticket? The monthly ticket? How does the app see the RTA senior card to permit the sale of a reduced fare ticket?
All of the above can be purchased in the app. Reduced rate eligibility is verified by the conductor or ticket checker. I've seen conductors call out people for trying to use reduced fare (eg college students are not actually eligible for a student fare).



  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Olesen, while I haven't ridden METRA since February last, or just before the Chicago Symphony shut down, I simply paid cash on board for inbound and paid same at the CUS window for the return.

My Senior ID serves as a Ventra card, which I load up with $2.50 for going to O'Hare and returning (last did that a year ago).

Now the question; I have been "bombarded" by ads for the Ventra "app". Is this to become the only means to ride any RTA agency?

I cannot foresee any rides on CTA or METRA until the "all clear", which I think will not be until '22, when I'll be 81yo. So I guess "there's still time" to figure it out.

But still, enquiring mind wants to know".
  by eolesen
 
Mr. Norman, I can't speak to what CTA does as I haven't ridden CTA since 2014 and I stopped commuting on Metra about 16 months ago.

When the first app came out in 2015, the end-game plan was to have a single app for all agencies. Reading thru the fluff on their website, it looks like the new app being rolled out can handle CTA, Pace, and Metra purchases. It doesn't look like they've cracked the nut to have cross-ticketing, but it looks like you should be able to use the app instead of the reloadable card.

Hopefully someone else who rides CTA can better speak to this.