CTA Fares & Tickets

eff. Jan. 2013

(as deducted from Transit Value in a Ventra Transit Account or from Chicago Cards' and Transit Cards' balances)
Full Reduced Student
'L' train fare $2.25* $1.10 $.75
Bus fare 2.00 1.00 .75
Transfer (up to 2 additional rides within 2 hrs) .25 .15 .15
(load onto Transit Account)
Full Reduced  
1-Day CTA Pass*** $10    
3-Day CTA Pass 20    
7-Day CTA Pass 28    
7-Day CTA/Pace Pass 33    
30-Day CTA/Pace Pass 100 $50**  
OTHER FARES Full Reduced Student
'L' train fare from O'Hare
Deducted on entry at O'Hare station, only, if paying from Ventra Transit Account pay-per-use value, Chicago Cards, Transit Cards.
$5 $1.10 $.75
Bus fare with cash on bus
Fare applies if using cash/coins directly at farebox when boarding.
2.25 1.10 .75
Metra Link-up Pass
Valid weekdays on CTA (6:30am-9:30am & 3:30pm-7:00pm) and on Pace (any time). Pass sold by Metra, use with Metra Monthly Ticket.
128 Soldier Field Express
Round-trip fare.
(dollar bills/
coins or
(dollar bills/
coins or
154 Wrigley Field Express
Round-trip fare.
6 per carload
(includes bus
& parking)


New Ventra Card $5 refundable, load value/passes with cash or card
buy at any Ventra Vending Machine, online, by phone, at retail locations
Single-Ride Ventra Ticket* 3 $2.25 fare + 25¢ transfer + 50¢ limited-use media fee
buy at any Ventra Vending Machine, except at O'Hare
Single-Ride Ventra Ticket at O'Hare 5 includes fare and transfer
buy at any Ventra Vending Machine at O'Hare
1-Day CTA Pass Ventra Ticket 10 limited-use media fee waived
buy at any Ventra Vending Machine

* Applies at all train stations except O’Hare (where a premium fare applies).
** Available only to riders with RTA-issued Reduced Fare permits.

Reduced fares are offered only to those customers who are eligible.

Some retail locations may continue to sell packs of full fare Transit Cards for $10 and Reduced Fare Transit Cards for $7.50 during the transition to Ventra. If you have a Ventra Card, simply load as much fare to your transit account at the checkout at Ventra Retail Locations, just as you would at any vending machine, online or by phone.


Pay-As-You-Go option

The non-pass fares (above) are deducted from a Ventra Transit Account's transit value for pay-per-ride fares, or from the balance on a Transit Card or Chicago Card.

You also have the option to pay out of a credit or debit card's regular payment account (such as from a personal, contactless bankcard) directly at turnstiles. You can use any card in your wallet with the contactless payment wave symbol to pay fare with Ventra.

If you use your personal, contactless bankcard at a turnstile and there is no value for pay-per-ride fares nor a pass in a Ventra Transit Account to cover your fare, the system will instead bill you a "Pay-As-You-Go" (PAYG) fare from funds on your card available for standard, over-the-counter retail transactions. This covers just one single, without transfers, on each tap.

The PAYG fare is $2.25 (or $1.10 for Reduced Fare) for on both CTA buses and on the 'L', or $5 at O'Hare. Transfer privileges are not available if you're not paying from fare loaded onto a Ventra transit account and instead are paying a PAYG fare.

You can, however, go up to a Ventra Vending Machine to add Transit Value or a pass to a Ventra Transit Account (created automatically and associated with the card you tap at the machine) for fare payment. This affords you access to regular fares, transfers and full fare passes. Ventra will deduct fares (or validate that you have a pass that covers your ride) from the Transit Account then, rather than directly from your card's standard payment account, if there is value or a pass available. Otherwise, you'll be charged a PAYG fare for each tap. Later, you'll be able to register your card online and even be able to set up auto-load for the Ventra Transit Account associated with your card.

For the best fare value, load Transit Value or passes to a Ventra Transit Account on your card before using your personal card to pay.


More information (via full website)