Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Integrating transit media with debit-credit card functions could be very expensive for the rider

This graphic is from the Chicago Tribune article, "CTA's Ventra debit option rife with fees" (also see the 2012 piece, "New fare card set for CTA, Pace: Commuters on CTA and Pace will have the option to pay their fares with a new card, called Ventra, starting next summer").

The fee to reload a debit card from a credit card seems steep and unnecessary.  (I wonder if you could get around it by using Paypal.) 

The monthly dormancy fee is high too.  Many states have legislated against such fees being levied against gift cards.

And I am surprised that they aren't attempting to integrate the cards into a particular ATM network, which could include ATMs at the stations, where use charges wouldn't be assessed as a matter of course on every transaction for CTA card users.

Plus, why don't they co-brand the Ventra Card with the CTA logo-brand?

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At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh, this is my issue with transit agencies moving toward "open payment" systems - the agencies will end up saving money by pushing the banking side off, but it's just funded by BS fees the banks will nail people with.

Low income people who ride transit and are living paycheck to paycheck don't need another way for some corporation to screw them out of more of what little money they have.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Absolutely agreed!!!! In Chicago, RTA has stepped in and will provide different cards to seniors and I think low income pass holders. But the fees are so egregious I wouldn't want to use the card at all and would bike even more...

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous charlie said...

Yep, MLD is correct.

That being said, three pushbacks:

1. Is there a fee for direct deposit from bank and/or paycheck. From the schedule I don't see it, and that is how the majority of those will be funded.

2. Yes, the fees suck but try being "unbanked". Fees there are worse. That is living on gift cards and prepaid debit all the time.

3. In terms of branding, yes, blown chance but again from the information provided it looks as if a 3rd party bank is the one providing this.

Low income don't live from paycheck to paycheck. They don't get paychecks....

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Low income don't live from paycheck to paycheck. They don't get paychecks...."

Of course they do - from their low paying job (or jobs). They ride transit to get to work - that's what most riders use transit for. They're called "the working poor."


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