CTA Fail: Cards May Incorrectly Expire

Roughly 3,000 riders affected


If you're one of roughly 3,500 lucky Chicago Card Plus cardholders, your transit plans could come to a screeching halt this week because of an incorrect expiration date posted on your card.

The CTA said it has alerted those affected by the glitch that the expiration date listed online for their account may be incorrect and that the card may expire this week.

The authority said it has since fixed the problem and is encouraging those with Chicago Card Plus cards to check their account online again to assure that the CTA has the most accurate e-mail and address information for the account, so they can be notified by the CTA in instances such as this.

The CTA said the incorrect expiration dates impact only 1.1 percent of the 329,645 Chicago Card Plus currently in circulation.

The cards are encoded to last four years, and more than 50,000 Chicago Card Plus cards are due to expire in 2009, most of them in July.  However, a programming error has some of those cards expiring earlier than CTA records indicate.

Chicago Card Plus users are required to register and provide the CTA with an email address, and the CTA says it has identified the 3,500 active cards that may be impacted by the error and has contacted those customers directly. In addition, the Chicago Card Web site has been updated with the correct information. Once addresses are verified, new cards will be mailed to customers who have cards with incorrect expiration dates.

Customers whose cards register as "expired" when they board the bus or pass through a turnstile should contact the CTA immediately for a replacement card. In the interim, any customer with a Chicago Card Plus that reads expired will be allowed to ride the system without being asked to pay a cash fare or use a magnetic strip card.

Customers can find their correct expiration date the following ways:

• By visiting the Chicago Card web site at www.chicago-card.com

• At the passenger information units in most CTA rail stations

• By calling CTA at 1-888-YOUR-CTA (1-888-968-7282), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.; or by visiting the CTA Sales Center, 567 W. Lake St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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