CHICAGO — The CTA said it gave out 15,000 free rides to customers after more than 100 Ventra card readers went down at "L" stations during rush hour Wednesday night.
A server failure rendered 165 out of 800 "L" station Ventra card readers useless at various times during the evening rush, according to CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase. Bus rides were not affected, she said.
The issues, which began about 4:30 p.m., had a "rippling effect" that knocked out card readers for anywhere from 15 minutes to 90 minutes, Chase said. Out of 145 rail stations, 60 stations saw some of its card readers affected.
The CTA ended up giving about 15,000 free rides as a result, Chase said.
The card readers were rebooted and the problems were resolved later in the evening, Chase said. As of Thursday morning there were no residual issues reported, Chase said.
Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., the vendor awarded a contract of up to about $454 million to develop Ventra, will be footing the bill for any revenue the CTA lost as a result, said Chase, who reiterated that Cubic hasn't yet been paid for the project.
We understand that some card readers are down. We are working diligently to bring the entire system back up. We appreciate your patience.— Ventra Chicago (@VentraChicago) November 13, 2013
Several commuters took to social media during the evening rush hour to complain about the system.
ONE turnstile open that works w/ #Ventra so were in a single file line instead at State/Lake Red Line. Officer told me to STOP filming scene— jon (@astro_knott) November 13, 2013
Earlier this month, the agency indefinitely delayed plans to force Chicago Card and magnetic-stripe card users onto the system.