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FC remarks for City Club 110513 Official.pdf

FC remarks for City Club 110513 Official.pdf

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Published by Todd J. Behme
Claypool remarks
Claypool remarks

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Published by: Todd J. Behme on Nov 05, 2013
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11/06/2013

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 City Club Remarks 11.5.13 President Claypool remarks
City Club speech
Slide 1
Cover Slide
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Let’s talk about Ventra.
 Well, we
’ll
 talk about that in a minute. Last December, I stood in this very room and talked about the things CTA was going to do in 2013 and I am proud that we met our deadlines and achieved our goals.
In fact, amidst the talk about CTA’s new open fare system, you may have missed the fact that CTA further executed Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vision to
build a new Chicago and opened the reconstructed, 10.2-mile Red Line South, allowing tens of thousands commuters to enjoy a faster, smoother, better commute than ever before.
And that’s just a small part of what we’ve achieved, not to mention what we are
planning to do in the
future. Today, we’re going to talk about all of that.
 
But, first…Ventra.
 
Slide 2
Ventra Logo
CTA’s magnetic fare cards were introduced in 1997. Over time, however, there was
 increasing interest in a contactless fare card and, by November 2002, CTA implemented its first contactless card
the Chicago Card
systemwide. It was followed by the Chicago Card Plus, unique because it linked to the
owner’s credit or debit card, in Janua
ry 2004. The move towards what would become Ventra actually started in 2007 and was based on the belief that the country was moving towards an open standard contactless banking system.
 By 2009, CTA was notified that production of the chips used in Chicago cards would soon end and began exploring a new fare payment system to replace its aging, existing one. CTA issued an RFP later that year. By 2011, Gov. Quinn signed a bill that mandated all transit agencies develop a universal fare payment system that would allow customers to use more than one form of transit with one card by 2015. That same year, two things
happened: bids on the new system came in to CTA in January 2011…and
Mayor Emanuel appointed me to the CTA in May. A few months later, the low bidder
Cubic Corporation
was awarded the $454 million for an open-fare system. And
, so…
here we are.
 
2 Since Ventra went fully live to the public on Sept. 9, just eight weeks ago, we have been paying very close attention to the performance of the system
and also of our contractor, Cubic Transportation Systems. With any contract the CTA enters into on behalf of the taxpayers, we hold the contractor to very high standards of performance. So much so that I asked Richard Wunderle
, the head of Cubic’s
 North American operations, to join me today to talk about this important topic. He agreed even before I finished asking him, and got on a plane to Chicago.
Slide 3
Card Being Tapped
25M
There is no question that overall, Ventra is working as a system. In just over 7 weeks, the system has seen more than 25 million taps.
Slide 4
Card Being Tapped
4.7M riders/55 percent
About 4.7 million riders board with Ventra each week. Last week, about 55 percent of CTA rides were through Ventra. A majority of our customers have transitioned to the Ventra system in less than 60 days. That number grows weekly.
But even though hundreds of thousands of riders use the system smoothly each day, as we’r
e all aware,
there are a number of things that just aren’t going the way they should be—
or the way they want them to.
In short, our vendor hasn’t fully met our expectations yet—
or those of our customers.
Slide 5
Call Center
I want to take a few minutes today to talk a little more about that, and let you know where things stand
in the CTA’s first transition to a completely new fare
-payment system in nearly 20 years.
There is one main area where our contractor’s performance simply hasn’t been up to par:
the customer service call center. About a month ago, that center was literally overwhelmed with 20,000 calls on a
single day. Many customers couldn’t get through at all. Those who did were left on hold had to wait far
too long to speak to a live operator
in some cases more than 30 minutes.
Obviously, that’s completely unacceptable.
 As soon as we learned the extent of the issue, we directed the contractor to triple the number of call takers to better serve customers. That has definitely helped: Wait times have dropped dramatically
yesterday, the average wait time was below five minutes. We also changed the phone menu to better route calls so customers could get what they need more quickly. In fact, today customers who are calling simply to activate or register their cards can do so in just a few minutes.
And while things are getting better, it’s still not the top level of service we expect. Beginning this week,
at my direction, the contractor will further expand and engage a second call center operator to provide both additional capacity in times of high-volume but also to help with continuous quality improvement
 
3 on the calls themselves. Through the information
we’ve gained by auditing the customer experience
through observation and feedback, we know this is a necessary step, and one that will help resolve customer issues more quickly.
We’ve also had reports of a few different technological issues—
none widespread, but occurring with sufficient frequency that we must address them. Richard Wunderle is a senior vice president and general manager of Cubic Transportation Systems, and he le
ads the company’s North American operations. He’ll join me now to help explain the current state
of the system.
Slide 6
Transition Cubic slide between Forrest Claypool and Richard Wunderle:
 
Cubic is the WORLD’S LEADING SYSTEM INTEGRATOR AND SERVICES PROV
IDER FOR AUTOMATED FARE COLLECTION.
 
We have 400 projects, in 40 countries, from Sydney to London to Washington DC
 
But we don’t have another project like this. Ventra is the first open fare system, and the first of
its kind in North America.
 
 
We took on this contract because it represents the leading edge of fare collection for the next 10 years
 
We are INVESTED IN THE SUCCESS OF VENTRA. LITERALLY. We have spent almost $100 MILLION
in the system, and we WON’T BEGIN TO RECOVER THAT INVESTMENT UNTIL THE SYSTE
M MEETS
ALL OF CTA’S REQUIREMENTS.
 
We are committed to its success, and we will see this project through. It is improving every day,
but let’s address some of the issues in more detail.
Slide 7
 –
 Multiple cards near reader
The FARE READERS CAN’T CHARGE
TWO CONTACTLESS CARDS AT THE SAME TIME. But what a fare reader WILL do, is CHARGE THE FIRST CARD THAT IT READS. If you have a pass on your Ventra card, and the system reads another credit card in your wallet, you are overpaying. So, please
don’t do this. It’s important to remove your card from your wallet before tapping the fare reader.
Slide 8
 –
 Fare R
eader with “processing” message
 
A more common problem is double tapping, which again can lead to overpaying. The FARE READERS HAVE BEEN PERFORMING TOO
SLOWLY. In part, it’s because the information is now
account based. The INFORMATION USED TO BE STORED ON A CARD. NOW IT IS STORED IN YOUR ACCOUNT, SO THE SYSTEM HAS TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR ACCOUNT. THAT MEANS THE TRANSACTION TAKES LONGER THAN BEFORE. WE HAVE TAKEN SEVERAL STEPS TO IMPORVE THE SOFTWARE AND AS OF YESTERDAY 95% OF
TRANSACTIONS WERE READ IN 2.5 SECONDS OR LESS. Forrest will correctly point out that’s still an
inconvenience for the remaining 5%, and we are working to improve those numbers. We have also changed the screen. As you see on the slide, if there is a lag time, the screen will tell you
that the system is processing your card. When you see that message, you’ll know that you should WAIT  –
 and not tap your card again.

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