The CTA and Pace will fully transition to the Ventra fare payment system as of Tuesday, July 1. This means customers must pay their fares with Ventra transit products or personal contactless debit and credit cards.
Beginning on Tuesday, July 1, the CTA and Pace will no longer accept old fare cards. Cash will only be accepted on CTA and Pace buses. Also as of July 1, Pace customers who pay with cash will no longer be issued a Transfer Card, matching a pre-existing CTA policy.
Most customers have already made the switch, with more than 98 percent of CTA and approximately 70 percent of Pace rides now taken with Ventra.
For customers who still need to transition, or for those who need to transfer balances from old fare cards to Ventra:
- Get a Ventra Card. Customers can easily obtain a Ventra Card at vending machines at CTA’s 145 rail stations; at more than 1,300 retail locations in Chicago and the suburbs; online at ventrachicago.com; and over the phone at (877) NOW VENTRA (877-669-8368).
- $5 Ventra Card fee continues to be waived at retailers until July 7. The $5 one-time new card fee will continue to be waived until July 7 at the more than 1,300 drugstores, currency exchanges and other conveniently located retailers throughout the Chicago region that distribute Ventra Cards. The $5 fee also continues to be waived for all online and phone orders for Ventra Cards. Ventra Cards obtained at vending machines in CTA rail stations require a $5 one-time new card fee, which is immediately refunded as transit value upon registration of the card.
- Mail-in option. CTA customers can also mail in certain transit cards, Chicago Cards and magnetic stripe permits to have their balances transferred to registered Ventra Cards through September 1, 2014. Forms and instructions are available on buses, in rail stations and online at transitchicago.com. CTA fare cards eligible for mail-in balance transfers include unused magnetic stripe 30-day unlimited ride period passes and stored-value fare cards, including magnetic stripe fare cards, Chicago Cards and permits loaded at vending machines. The combined transit value on the cards must be at least $5 and there is an 8-card limit per customer. RTA reduced and free ride customers can also use the mail-in option to transfer balances to their RTA-issued reduced or free ride Ventra cards. Balances will be transferred within 30 days of receipt of mail-in request forms. A mail-in option is available for Pace-only tickets and passes. Please visit PaceBus.com/Ventra for details.
Free and reduced-fare customers. Customers who receive free or reduced fare cards through the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) must use their RTA-issued Ventra card as of July 1. For assistance in activating an RTA-issued card, call (877) 450-5328. To update your information if your name, address or phone number has changed, call (312) 913-3110.
Customers can visit ventrachicago.com for account information, how-to-videos and frequently asked questions.