CTA - Chicago Transit Authority

Student Reduced Fare

Elementary and high school students are eligible for a Student Reduced Fare—a discounted fare on CTA for students enrolled in public, private, parochial and some suburban public elementary or high schools.

This page is for parents, guardians and students. If you're a school administrator, see this page.

Student Ventra Cards

Students must have a Student Ventra Card to receive the Student Reduced Fare on CTA buses and trains. Many schools issue them. Learn more about how to get a card.

Student Ventra Cards, like regular Ventra Cards, can be loaded at vending machines, more than 1,000 retailers, online or by phone.

Using a Student Ventra Card to get the Student Reduced Fare

There are two ways to use a Student Ventra Card to get the Student Reduced Fare:

Using the Student Ventra Card for non-school trips

Student Ventra Cards can be used for out-of-school riding, too—regular fares are automatically deducted from transit value outside of Student Reduced Fare hours or outside of a school term:

Once school starts again, students need to have student riding privileges re-enabled either by their school or by applying: learn more.

Student fare Info

Quick fare chart (eff. Jan 7, 2018) Student Reduced Fare

(during student fare hours*)
Reduced Fare

(at all other times for children
Full Fare

(at all other times for students 12 and up)
'L' train fare $0.75 $1.25 $2.50
Bus fare .75 1.10 2.25
Transfer (up to 2 additional rides within 2 hrs) .15 .15 .25


*Student fare hours: CTA Student Reduced Fare is available for full-time students ages 7–20, for trips to and from regular day classes (at a public, parochial or private elementary or high school), Monday thru Friday, 5:30a-8:30p, on school days, with a Student Ventra Card.

This special student fare is only available on CTA buses and trains.


How to Obtain a Student Ventra Card

Students attending Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools issue cards directly. See your school's administrator for information on how to get a card.

Students attending private or parochial schools

Students who attend non-CPS schools are also eligible for the program. Some schools issue cards directly. Check if your school is on this list:

PDF documentList of schools that issue Student Ventra Cards, directly


Renewing student riding privileges

Don't throw your card away at the end of the school year/term! 

Cards last for up to five years and revert to regular fares when school is not in session, so you can keep using it once school ends. To have access to student fares re-enabled for every regular or summer school term, you'll need to have privileges renewed. Here's how:


Register your card

We strongly encourage parents and guardians to register Student Ventra Cards. Registration ensures balance protection in the event the card is lost, stolen or damaged.

Registering also provides online account management features (including the ability to reload value online or set cards up to automatically reload when the value gets low).

Additionally, you'll receive important messages about student fares.

Registration is quick and easy and can be done online at ventrachicago.com or by calling 1-877-NOW-VENTRA.

Card lost, stolen or damaged?

If your Ventra Student Card is lost, stolen or damaged, students can purchase a replacement card through their school.


Getting help

For more information, you can contact Ventra Customer Service at 1-877-NOW-VENTRA.

©2018 Chicago Transit Authority
Phone: 1-888-YOUR-CTATTY: 1-888-CTA-TTY1Website: transitchicago.com