Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers
Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013 at 6:22 PM
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By Phil Rogers

CTA Claims Most Ventra Problems Are 'Gone'

The Chicago Transit Authority says the turnstile delays that caused several Ventra cards to be denied or charged double have largely “vanished” in the weeks following a software upgrade. Read »

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 at 2:44 PM
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By Mark W. Anderson

Ventra Fails to Meet Minority Contract Amounts

Ventra Fails to Meet Minority Contract Amounts

The Chicago Sun-Times reports only 7.2 percent of the money Ventra gets from the city has gone to African-American contractors. Read »

Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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By Phil Rogers

RTA Chairman: Ventra an "Unacceptable and Systemic Failure"

RTA Chairman: Ventra an "Unacceptable and Systemic Failure"

Especially at issue, in the RTA's eyes, is how much money Ventra glitches are causing the transit system. Read »

Tuesday, Nov 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM
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By Mark Anderson

Ventra’s Cubic Partner Also Has Long History of Fare Card Troubles

Ventra’s Cubic Partner Also Has Long History of Fare Card Troubles

In a must-read piece, Jason Prechtel at Gapers Block details the long list of cities and projects that experienced problems when Cubic ran fare card systems elsewhere. Read »

Friday, Nov 8, 2013 at 1:18 PM
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By Mark W. Anderson

Ventra Prepaid Banking Partner Has Long History of Legal Trouble

Ventra Prepaid Banking Partner Has Long History of Legal Trouble

The banking partner chosen as part of the Ventra program appears to have a long history of legal problems related to prepaid debit schemes and other activities. Read »

Thursday, Nov 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM
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By Mark W. Anderson

Opinion: What Happens to the Ventra Money Collected in Error?

Opinion: What Happens to the Ventra Money Collected in Error?

How Ventra’s Banking Partners May Be Profiting From Problems and Fees Read »

Tuesday, Nov 5, 2013 at 3:10 PM
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By Mark W. Anderson

Dear City Council, Follow the Money on Ventra Deal

Dear City Council, Follow the Money on Ventra Deal

Beyond the poor customer service lie deeper questions about who, if anyone, is profiting from these problems and whether the CTA did a proper job of vetting its business partners. Read »

About Ward Room
NBC Chicago's award winning politics blog takes a critical look at Illinois' top influence-peddlers, using a mix of news and commentary designed to keep this state's notoriously corruptible politicians honest and accountable.
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Who We're Covering
Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel

Foul mouthed, iron-fisted and arrogant. Say hello to Mayor Emanuel.

Scott Walker

Scott Walker

Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, made a name for himself by taking on the unions in Wisconsin, eliminating their collective bargaining power, and then surviving a recall election that sprang from that...

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner, a multi-millionaire venture capitalist from Winnetka and a Republican, took over the Illinois governor's mansion in 2015 and immediately asked the residents of the state to prepare for some pain.

Michael Madigan

Michael Madigan

Master of the Illinois political universe, behind-the-scenes strong arm, and speaker of the house.

Ed Burke

Ed Burke

Ed Burke has played the stoic counterpart to Mayor Daley's outspoken boss hog since the Mayor took office.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

He's nearing the end of his presidency and considering his next moves. Will Chicago have a play?

See more Who We're Covering
Authors
Phil Rogers Emmy Award-winning reporter with trenchant insight into Chicago's political machinations.
Mary Ann Ahern WMAQ's Political Reporter since 2006, not afraid of a challenge. Read full bio .