CITY HALL — The mayor gave Chicago Transit Authority President Forrest Claypool a vote of confidence Tuesday, in spite of the continued snarls accompanying the Ventra rollout.
"Forrest has more than my full confidence," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The Ventra fare system has been plagued by technical problems and initial poor customer support since it was launched in August. Last month, its corporate owner, Cubic Transportation Systems, pledged to make the system work.
"Cubic hasn't gotten paid," Emanuel emphasized Tuesday in a City Hall news conference. "You're not gonna get paid until the system works in a flawless, seamless manner."
Cubic won a 12-year, $454 million contract for the fare system and has spent $92 million implementing it, but has not yet been paid by the CTA.
Emanuel said that he does not hold Claypool responsible, "because Cubic is responsible for delivering a better service. Forrest always will have and does have my full confidence."
Emanuel pointed to the success of the summerlong Red Line reconstruction project, completed on deadline and on budget, and said Claypool has been concentrating on the Ventra issues, adding, "He's holding Cubic's feet to the fire."
Claypool has suspended all deadlines on completing the transition to Ventra and has said those deadlines will be reset when it is functioning properly and Cubic is providing adequate customer service.