ROSELAND — The mayor maintained his support for the Chicago Transit Authority and President Forrest Claypool Tuesday in spite of persistent problems with the new Ventra fare system.
While admitting he was "frustrated" with the Ventra system, Mayor Rahm Emanuel threw his support behind Claypool and Chicago Transit Board Chairman Terry Peterson, saying, "They're holding them accountable" to make Ventra work.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel made clear his continuing support for Claypool and the CTA at the unveiling of new plans for a $240 million station at the 95th Street stop at the south end of the Red Line.
"I am frustrated that the company did not live up to their expectations," Emanuel said of Ventra's corporate owner, Cubic Transportation Systems. "And we're gonna hold their feet to the fire here. They're not gonna get a payment until it does work."
"Forrest and I are gonna hold them accountable," Peterson added. "They're not gonna get paid a dime until they make the system work for all of our residents."
Claypool said they would begin weekly Ventra progress reports this Friday, following through on requirements he set two weeks ago for Ventra to perform adequately.
Yet all three emphasized the city would pay nothing until the transition to Ventra is complete. "The Ventra system, the Cubic company, will not get paid until it's working for all the residents of the City of Chicago like it's supposed to work," Emanuel said.
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), chairman of the Transportation Committee, said he was adopting a wait-and-see approach with the CTA holding community meetings on Ventra before he would call hearings on the new fare system.