CTA Riders and Employees Discuss Issues with Ventra

Ventra cards ready for purchase  (Photo/Nicole Capone)

Ventra cards ready for purchase
(Photo/Nicole Capone)

By Nicole Capone and Jaclyn Driscoll

Chicago Transit Authority users are on the fence concerning the new fare system, Ventra. With difficulties still surrounding the transition from previous fare options, the CTA attempts to resolve lingering issues regarding Ventra.

Recently the CTA suspended switch over deadlines due to the increasing problems from the $454 million Ventra system. Issues range from the riders having difficulty obtaining their Ventra cards to card readers failing to recognize the card, in which case the CTA employees allow riders to board the trains and busses for free.

Danny Papovic, a 26-year-old visual effect major at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, said he relies on the CTA for traveling to work and school everyday. Papovic said he switched to the Ventra card after his school made it mandatory, but admits to being bothered by tedious errors that come with the new system in comparison to the previous CTA pass.

“I’m not necessarily partial to either one,” Papovic said. “The only thing that really bothers me about the Ventra card is that I have to swipe it about four times before it actually lets me onto the train. With the CTA card there was never a problem. The Ventra card you have to swipe it multiple times.”

CTA employee Tomica Goodwin, who assists riders at the Jackson Red Line stop, said she prefers the Ventra cards and thinks the new system is more convenient for riders. Continue reading


Female Veterans Face Continuous Challenges

By Jaclyn Driscoll
A leading researcher says transitioning back into civilian life can be difficult for all veterans, but the growing population of female veterans face additional challenges.

Lindy Carrow leads all research on veterans’ issues for the Social Impact Research Center, a nonprofit organization. Her team gathers information on current veterans in Illinois from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The non-profit uses that data to implement its programs. Carrow focused a large part of research on the increasing female veteran population.

“Back in the Cold War, female vets only made up 8% of the population,” said Carrow. “But now they are all the way up to 17-18%.” Continue reading

North Dakota Church Parishioners Help End Antioch Manhunt

Image(Photo/Williams County Sheriff’s Office)

Billy Varner, wanted for questioning in the deaths of his wife and mother, is now in custody after a week long manhunt. Varner, 54, robbed a Catholic church and was arrested nearly 1,000 miles away from Antioch just outside of Williston, N.D. on Saturday. “He walked in with a shotgun during the mass,” said Police Chief Craig Somerville at a press conference. “The parishioners in the church chased him out and gave a good description… The suspect fled the scene and several church goers followed and it ended without incident,” he said.

Antioch Manhunt Storify