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Ventra app crashes on first day of Metra ticketing changes

The Ventra app crashed Thursday morning leaving Metra passengers stranded on the first day of new ticketing changes and procedures.

Metra first posted about the technical issues just after 8 a.m. on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

“Conductors have been notified and are allowing passengers to ride until the issue is resolved,” the transit agency said.

Metra’s new fare structure was implemented Thursday, and all ticketing windows at the station were closed. Passengers can now only purchase fares through the app, ticket vending machines and train conductors.

The app first began to slow down at around 5:44 a.m., and completely stopped working about an hour later, according to Metra spokesperson Meg Reile. The cause remains unknown.

“We’re accommodating passengers and working to resolve the issue,” Reile said.

Rey Monas, 42, was unable to open his monthly pass Thursday morning as his train left the Hinsdale Metra station. He had just purchased it for the start of the month.

“It’s to be expected when there’s updates to be made,” Monas said as he was walking out of Chicago Union Station. “It’s frustrating, but you have to just roll with it.”

Jesus Aguilera stood across the station, scrolling through his phone. The 18-year-old University of Illinois Chicago student was grateful he had bought a physical ticket from a vending machine in Elgin. Dozens of other passengers on the platform were struggling with the app, he said.

“Since I had no issues, I don’t really feel that bad, but I do feel bad for the other people,” Aguilera said. “It was a huge inconvenience.”

Another UIC student, Jenny Miranda, had to wait five minutes for the app to load to buy a ticket. She was already upset that the price for her monthly pass had increased, she said.

“I feeling frustrated,” Miranda, 23, said. “All these changes, and then the app doesn’t work.”

karmanini@chicagotribune.com