"V.E.N.T.R.A." writers Ollie Hobson and Alan Linic
"V.E.N.T.R.A." writers Ollie Hobson and Alan Linic Credit: Andrea Bauer

The rollout of the Ventra payment system was a clusterfuck: the byzantine sign-up process, the hours-long customer service calls, the tale of one commuter who had to cope with hundreds of new Ventra cards clogging up his mailbox. Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CTA president Forrest Claypool were pissed; they refused to pay Ventra’s parent company, Cubic Transportation Systems, till it ironed out some issues. But where most of us saw red, a couple members of iO troupe the Ruckus, Alan Linic and Ollie Hobson, saw comedic gold, and they mined enough of it to craft a jokey hip-hop track called “V.E.N.T.R.A.” Linic and Hobson are astute lyricists, and they capture the entire miserable affair with just the right amount of gallows humor, which makes it easier to get past the fact that they could use some help behind the mike. And I can’t disagree with that chorus: “V-E-N T-R-A, service sucks major D-I-C-K.”