DePaul University students have faced weeks of trouble with the new Ventra U-Pass cards, which are a new transition for the CTA and university. Some students have spent their own money on rides to class, despite paying for a U-Pass.
The main problem that many students have had is the school not being able to supply them with a Ventra card until weeks into the quarter. Lines still wrap around the hallways of the Lincoln Park Student Center’s ID Services office, which is one of two offices in charge of distributing ID Cards.
Sophomore Grace Jackson spent more than $15 on her own CTA cards to get to classes in the Loop.
“First, they said they lost it and promised it would be delivered in five business days,” Jackson said. “Well, it never was, and when I tried to call them to see when I would get it, they would keep telling me to call the next day.”
“I called five days in a row and finally they told me they didn’t even know and I would have to check the Loop campus myself. I had gone 13 school days without a U-Pass and they only gave me one 7-day pass,” she said.
When Jackson asked for another 7-day pass from the ID services office, they told her that it was not possible.
Other students have been luckier, though, and have gotten enough 7-day passes. On the other hand, they too have spent many afternoons waiting in line to see if their Ventra card would be there.
Junior Anthony Ray has had to come in to the office every Tuesday to pick up a new Ventra card. “They just tell me to come back in a week.”
Freshman Skai Stundziate said “they said there were issues with printing the U-Passes, and I didn’t even know that some people had got theirs.”
Dave Byrnes, a graduate student, has had more issues with locating his than waiting around.
“I came to the Lincoln Park office to pick up my U-Pass and they said that since I was a journalism student, it would be in the Loop,” Byrnes said. “When I went to the Loop campus, they said that it was actually at the Lincoln Park campus. I came here, and they said, ‘no, for sure it’s in the Loop,’ and then the Loop doesn’t know where it is now.”
No faculty or staff members from ID services were available for comment.
Even the students who were lucky enough to receive their Ventra cards during the first week of school faced issues. Sophomore Maddy Bourque said her Ventra card took an extremely long time to activate.
“Since I was on my way to class, I paid for the train one way, assuming it would work later, but I received the same ‘stop’ message throughout the day,” she said. “I asked a CTA worker and he told me to call and activate it again, but he still made me pay for the train. It took four calls before it started working.”
Other students have faced issues like having the card-readers take money out of their touchand- go debit cards that were in the same wallet as their Ventra cards. It is still unknown as to whether any of these students were able to get their money back.