Home / News / Metra Ventra problems caused by testing problem, dealer says

Metra Ventra problems caused by testing problem, dealer says


Weeks after the Ventra ticketing app crashed as Metra implemented new fares, the company behind the app said the failure was due to a lack of proper testing before Metra made the changes.

Metra board members criticized Cubic on Wednesday, saying the enforcement failures were a disappointment and a blow to the rail agency’s reputation, especially at a time when Metra is trying to lure riders back from the lows of the pandemic. Board member Rodney Craig went so far as to ask for new options for the ticketing app to be explored.

“It’s a shame,” board member Stephen Palmer told Cubic’s representatives. “This is an embarrassment for Metra. Your explanation makes sense but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing and I would expect more from your company.

Ventra app experienced widespread glitches starting February 1, the day Metra launched new tariffs closed remaining ticket windows and glitches continued in the following days. The app slowed down and stopped working, preventing passengers from purchasing tickets. Some drivers were charged multiple times for unsuccessfully trying to get a ticket, board members said Wednesday, but Cubic representatives said some of those duplicate charges are pending and should be dropped by customers’ banks.

Metra said at the time that passengers were allowed to ride for free if they couldn’t get a ticket. The agency expects to be refunded from Cubic for lost fares, but Executive Director Jim Derwinski said he could not yet estimate the amount Metra will get back.

These glitches frustrated and confused passengers as they tried to adjust to the new, simplified fare structure and new methods of purchasing tickets. The closure of ticket windows meant a reduced option for passengers to purchase tickets, which could now be purchased through vending machines, train conductors or Ventra. Monthly cards, which are usually put on sale before the beginning of the month, could not be used until February 1 due to the implementation of the changes.

Cubic representatives said the Ventra app accounts for about 80% of Metra ticket sales.

Matt Newsome, Cubic’s senior vice president and general manager, said the implementation failed because Cubic did not conduct appropriate testing before the fee changes were made. The company had been working on the changes and pre-testing the app since April 2023, but load testing of the app was not set up correctly and did not reveal issues that would arise if a flood of travelers tried to log in. and purchase passes and tickets, he said.

Newsome said that while the new fares are simpler for passengers, they are more complex to implement and require more data transfer.

“The recent issue with the Ventra app was purely a Cubic issue, and we deeply regret it and wholeheartedly apologize to those affected,” he said.

Newsome said CTA and Pace also use Ventra to sell tickets, but more tickets were purchased outside the app and were not greatly impacted by the crash.

Newsome said Cubic created a team to respond to emergencies and collected data, and staff examined lines of code in the application to see where they could improve performance. The company has also adjusted the type of testing that will be done before new updates to the app.

He said passengers experiencing payment issues can call Ventra customer service for assistance.

But the problems frustrated Metra drivers. The agency displayed a selection of comments it received when Ventra crashed: “Metra, you’re the biggest losers,” “Metra hurry up and fix your (expletive) app!” and “Metra clowns.”

On Wednesday, agency officials showed their disappointment with Cubic.

“There was a lot of expectation and work on Feb. 1, and we were disappointed,” Derwinski said.

Board Chairman Romayne Brown said he hoped Cubic would stick to its assurances that it would not allow a similar Ventra crash to happen, and that it was up to Metra to keep Cubic’s word.

Another board member, Don Orseno, said the failure was a setback as Metra was trying to pull back ridership in January, which was about 54% of pre-pandemic weekday levels.

“You let us down,” he said. “It really disappointed us.”

Board member Craig, who is also the mayor of Hanover Park, suggested Metra should start looking at other companies to handle app-based ticketing. The technology seems to be outdated and since the crash on February 1st was so big, expect something similar to happen again.

“This is happening again, shame on us,” he said. “I can’t live with this.”


About yönetici

Check Also

Meet the 2023-24 Aurora-Elgin men’s basketball all-District team

[ad_1] Players from Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Oswego East and Class 1A state finalist Aurora …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch Dragon ball super