CTA and Pace Launch Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch

October 26, 2020

 Customers enjoy all the features of a full fare Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch

Today, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace Suburban Bus (Pace) launched the Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch fare payment option—further expanding safety, convenience and flexibility for customers. This innovative new feature, developed with Apple, allows iPhone and Apple Watch users to easily add a Ventra Card to their devices and then ride CTA trains and buses and Pace buses by simply tapping their iPhone or Apple Watch at the Ventra reader. Customers now have an exciting new contactless, tap-and-go fare payment option, and they no longer have to worry about pulling out or misplacing their plastic Ventra Card. 

Customer using Ventra Card on their Apple Watch to pay at a CTA rail turnstile.

"With Ventra's expansion to iPhone and Apple Watch users, more and more people in Chicago and the Chicagoland area will be able to take advantage of and use our renowned public transit system with ease," said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "This initiative, in collaboration with Apple, showcases the endless possibilities of public-private sector teamwork and is also in line with our ongoing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 with the use of contactless payment options. I am absolutely thrilled that this innovative and cutting-edge investment is being made in our city and look forward to developing even more ways to enhance the travel experience of CTA and Pace riders while keeping them safe.” 

“We’re happy to introduce Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch, so customers have an easy, safe way to pay for rides without compromising privacy or security,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay. “By adding an existing Ventra Card to Apple Wallet or creating a new one, Chicago riders can just tap and ride, and avoid touching readers or vending machines.”

The Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch is available through the brand-new Ventra app (blue icon) that was released just last month.  It functions in the same way as a plastic Ventra card, allowing customers to add transit value or passes to their cards, set up autoload, utilize pre-tax transit benefits from their employer, manage their Ventra account and much more. Customers can choose to convert their plastic, full fare Ventra Card for use on their Apple devices, or create a new card through the Ventra app, eliminating the need for calling customer service, visiting a machine or ordering a card online.

“The introduction of Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch represents the future of fare payment in public transit, and we are very happy to provide our customers with another easy-to-use, contactless payment option as we work to help keep them healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We are committed to continuing to find new ways to use technology to improve the CTA travel experience and I believe the Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch fare payment option is a great example of accomplishing that goal.”

The Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch works with Express Transit, which allows riders to quickly pay for rides without having to wake or unlock their device, or open an app. Customers can simply tap their iPhone or Apple Watch at the Ventra reader and go.

“We’re excited about what this new, contactless fare payment option means for our passengers,” said Pace Executive Director Rocky Donahue. “Anything we can do to make public transportation easier and safer to use is a step in the right direction.”

At this time, the Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch is exclusive to CTA and Pace Suburban Bus services and is currently unavailable for fare payment on Metra or Pace Paratransit. RTA and Student Reduced Fare cards, including U-Pass cards, and free ride Ventra Cards cannot be added to Apple Wallet at this time.*

The Ventra Card on iPhone and Apple Watch builds on prior investments by CTA and Pace and continues the commitment to providing quick, contactless payment options when using CTA and Pace services. For years, Ventra has accepted standard contactless payments for pay-as-you-go fares from mobile wallets and contactless bankcards. 

For more information on how to load a Ventra Card on iPhone or Apple Watch, visit ventrachicago.com/applepay/

*To add a Ventra transit card to Apple Wallet, customers need the Ventra app downloaded on iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE (2016) or later running the latest version of iOS, or Apple Watch Series 1 or later running the latest version of watchOS.


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