Chicago’s ‘Smart Card’ Debacle and Privatisation

Riding the buses in Chicago has been awfully fun this busy Christmas Season. Half the time, it’s been free.
This fall, you see, after a series of delays, the city brought online a new fare payment system called “Ventra” in which customers tap “smart cards” against electronic readers at bus entrances and train station turnstiles. Only it turns out these cards are not so smart. Half the time, tap after tap after tap, the damned things don’t work, and the bus driver just exasperatedly waves you through.