Updated design for Ventra smart card

Weekend round-up

Some stories you may have missed last week: Elon Musk doesn’t like transit, Ventra cards get a new look, and Metrorail customers get more WiFi.

Guess what? Elon Musk doesn’t like public transportation. The man who came up with the idea for the hyperloop thinks the person sitting next to him on the train might be a serial killer.  Wired quotes Musk’s remarks at a conference where he said the following:

I think public transport is painful. It sucks. Why do you want to get on something with a lot of other people, that doesn’t leave where you want it to leave, doesn’t start where you want it to start, doesn’t end where you want it to end? And it doesn’t go all the time.

A spokesperson for The Boring Company, Musk’s enterprise to build tunnels for hyperloop systems, told Wired that Musk wasn’t criticizing the idea of mass transit — just the way transit works today.  “The point is that while mass transit is generally painful, it doesn’t have to be that way and it should be better,” the spokesperson said. “That’s why The Boring Company exists—to increase the happiness of both drivers and mass transit users by reducing traffic and creating an efficient and affordable public transportation system.”  Link to full story in Wired.

The Chicago Transit Authority (IL) has unveiled a new look for the Ventra card. The new design comes as the original cards issued in 2013 begin expiring on December 31, 2017.  The new cards will no longer offer a prepaid debit account feature. CTA is mailing new cards to customers who previously registered their cards online and have cards expiring this month. The new card design incorporates a series of triangles inspired by the “V” in Ventra; the blue color scheme is supposed to evoke Lake Michigan.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (DC) announced the availability of free customer WiFi service at 24 additional underground Metrorail stations. This expands the number of undground stations with WiFI from six to 30. All remaining underground stations are expected to have WiFi by the middle of 2018.

Image source: CTA

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