Unexpected Press Conference

On arriving at Millennium Station this morning, I walked through the doors to see a huge crowd gathered. I was curious what was hapening, and went in for a closer look.

The TV cameras were a giveaway that it was a press conference, but I learned that it was an announcement regarding Ventra’s new mobile app.

The reason this app warrants such attention is that it potentially allows riders of three separate systems (CTA, Metra, and Pace) to use a single device to manage their fares/tickets.

Something that’s nice: so far it seems that 700 people have tested the app. Less nice is the fact that the app isn’t quite ready yet, at the time of the press conference. And even less nice is (at least according to an earlier version of the article) that the original timeline had the app being released in April of 2015. So things are about 8 months behind schedule.

I didn’t stick around too long, though the temptation to pull a Dave Shutton was incredibly strong. I’ll be curious to see how this app fares in terms of protecting user’s information, and general security overall. While I think it’s possible to track CTA users from point to point, this app will seemingly allow that to happen for all Metra riders now too.

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