The new Ventra card system has received a lot of criticism in the past few weeks. Some have had trouble adding money to the pay-as-you-go transit debit card and for some the card simply does not work causing CTA boarding delays and very frustrated commuters. Needless to say, Ventra has its glitches. But none probably tops receiving a transit card in the mail in the name of your deceased mother.
Stetson Siler, a disabled Air Force veteran from Oak Park, probably thought when he opened his mail holding his brand new Ventra ride-free military card that he would find a badly lit mug shot of himself like most of us do. Instead, his CTA card had a picture of his mother, Ann, who passed away five years ago.
He and his wife both laughed when they saw the card was for his mother, Siler said in an interview with Chicago Tribune reporter Jon Hilkevitch, "but this made me wonder how many dead people are receiving cards. This looks like a big opportunity for fraud."
The Tribune reports that perhaps two or more numbers from Siler's late mother's Social Security number may have been transposed, thereby stopping the card from being flagged.
While Siler's circumstance is rare, The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) told the Tribune that about 5 percent of senior free-ride cards are used after the cardholder has passed away. The cards are eventually deactivated, but by then users may have gotten anywhere from a few to over 1,000 free rides.
Seems more than a bit glitchy.
If you are a military personnel or veteran, your military transit card is distributed by the CTA in person.
Disabled veterans should go to the Ventra customer service center, 165 N. Jefferson St., Chicago, or call 888-YOUR-CTA