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The head of the Chicago Transit Authority told business leaders Tuesday that the company responsible for the Ventra fare-collection system won't be paid until that system actually works.
When that will be is a mystery to everyone, including Richard Wunderle, the head of North American operations for California-based Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., the company that created Ventra. Wunderle traveled to Chicago this week to apologize for the "unacceptable" problems that have plagued Ventra since its inception in August.
"I can't give you really a best guess. We're analyzing the data," said Wunderle said when asked about a timetable for fixing Ventra. CTA President Forrest Claypool brought Wunderle to the City Club of Chicago Tuesday to answer questions about Ventra.
Claypool said the CTA won't write a check until three conditions are met: wait times on Ventra's customer hotline are less than five minutes to speak with an operator; Ventra fare readers on buses and at rail turnstiles process transactions in 2.5 seconds or 99 percent of the time; and 99 percent of Ventra equipment is functioning.
Claypool also mentioned that, until Cubic fixes the Ventra system, the CTA will continue to accept transit cards.
One benefit to customers of the CTA is that, due to Ventra's frequent malfunctions, free rides have often been given, especially on buses. Claypool was noncommittal on the possibility of the CTA taking legal action against Cubic to recoup lost fares.
"It will be up to the lawyers to review," said Claypool, who admitted that the CTA doesn't know exactly how much money has been lost. However, he did say that those uncollected fares represent "an unacceptably high number of instances...We will look at it, we will quantify it, and will work with our lawyers."
The CTA Ventra Hotline telephone number is 877-669-8368.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
If you or someone you know is a veteran having trouble getting your Veterans Affairs benefits, John Marshall Law School may be able to help.
The Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic, founded by three John Marshall law students in 2006, is now offering a FREE online course that provides information on various issues plaguing veterans across the country.
The MOOC focuses on where military and civilivan laws intersect, clarification of the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act, family law issues, uniform code of military justice, and employment and reemployment rights for National Guard members.
Each topic segment is approximately 20 minutes long and can be found at www.jmls.edu/vlscmooc/.
The Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic first began accepting clinic cases in 2007 and was founded after a Marine vet attending John Marshall Law School had trouble getting his Veterans Affairs education benefits. The clinic's first funding came from two sources: the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs under director Tammy Duckworth, who provided $100,000 from the Illinois Lottery veterans game, and a gift from LexisNexis.
The clinic assists more than 1,000 callers a year; if the clinic is unable to help, callers are referred to outside agencies that can.
Please pass this along to any veterans you know who are having trouble getting VA benefits. You could help them immensely.
SOURCE: John Marshall Law School
The National Football League has begun an official workplace investigation of the Miami Dolphins following allegations that lineman Richie Incognito threatened and harrassed offensive tackle Jonathan Martin.
"The NFL is going to conduct a review of the workplace," said Miami head coach Joe Philbin during a news conference Monday. "It's going to be comprehensive; it's going to be objective. As an organization we are going to give our full and complete cooperation with the NFL."
Though the Dolphins organization will not elaborate on the allegations leveled against Incognito, ESPN reported this weekend that Incognito persuaded Martin to contribute $15,000 to help pay for a trip to Las Vegas that Martin did not go on. Various other media outlets have reported that Incognito left threatening phone messages and texts for Martin.
Incognito denied the allegations and asserted his innocence on Twitter. He was suspended by the Dolphins Sunday night for "conduct detrimental to the team."
The Dolphins released the following statement regarding the situation on Sunday:
“The Miami Dolphins, including Coach Joe Philbin and Jonathan's teammates, have been in communication with Jonathan and his family since his departure from the club and continue to be in contact. Our primary concern for Jonathan is his overall health and well-being. As an organization, we take any accusations of player misconduct seriously. The notion of bullying is based on speculation and has not been presented to us as a concern from Jonathan or anyone else internally. The reports that the NFLPA is investigating our players are inaccurate. Additionally, the NFL offered its assistance during this time, which we appreciated and gladly accepted. We will continue to make Jonathan's health and well-being a focus as we do with all of our players."
The Obama administration is expanding ways to register for the affordable health care program.
To register by telephone, call 1-800-318-2596.
Kanye West has always been one to fly his own flag, but his latest choice in banners is causing quite a stir.
The Chicago rapper has taken to adorning himself and his merchandise withe the Confederate flag. Kanye has long been known for his provocative attitude, but is this latest affectation too much?
Guess who doesn't think so.
"React how you want," said Kanye in an interview with 97.1 AMP Radio. "Like I said, any energy you got is good energy. You know, the Confederate flag represented slavery, in a way - that's my abstract take on what I know about it, right? So I made the song 'New Slaves.' So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It's my flag now! Now what are you gonna do?"
We're just happy to see Kanye take a stand for states' rights.