CTA will begin selling the new cards Dec. 15; Ventra to discontinue prepaid debit account function on transit cards
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) today announced the Ventra card is getting a makeover. New Ventra cards featuring a fresh new look will be available for sale starting Monday, Dec. 18. The new Ventra cards are also being mailed to customers who have previously registered their cards at ventrachicago.com and whose current cards are expiring.
The CTA has also begun a customer education outreach effort on the replacement of expiring cards. The first Ventra cards, issued in 2013 when the Ventra fare payment system was initially launched, are now nearing expiration and will need to be replaced.
The Ventra fare payment system in 2014 replaced CTA’s obsolete fare payment method with a modern, account-based system that provides transit customers the ability to conveniently purchase fares and ride CTA, Metra and Pace.
“We’re pleased that customers have embraced Ventra and are receiving the benefits it provides, including the ease of loading fares and unlimited-ride passes onto the reusable card, the ability to use it to ride CTA, Metra and Pace, and more,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “As our customers replace their cards, we’re pleased to offer a new card look to our customers that is pleasing to look at and still provides customers with the same dependable, convenient service customers have enjoyed with a modern fare payment system.”
New Ventra cards available Dec. 18
The Ventra card’s new design is inspired by the Ventra "V", featuring a repetition of geometric triangles to create a pattern in varied hues of blue, a nod to Lake Michigan. These new cards will work exactly like existing Ventra cards and provide the same great account functionality and flexibility that transit customers enjoy today.
CTA expects to begin stocking the new cards as of Dec. 18 in Ventra vending machines, at more than 1,000 retail outlets where Ventra is sold, and to customers who purchase new Ventra cards by phone or online.
Expiring Ventra cards
The first Ventra cards, issued in 2013, will begin to expire Dec. 31, 2017 through 2022. As a courtesy to customers, Ventra will send email notifications to registered customers two months before their cards expire. The email notifications will ask customers to confirm their current mailing address so they can receive their free replacement card through the mail.
Customers who tap their cards at Ventra vending machines (located at all rail stations) will also receive expiration notifications.
Tips for Ventra customers on how to obtain a new card
- If you haven’t already, register your card at ventrachicago.com with your current address and a new card will be mailed to you for free.
- Registering allows customers to manage their accounts via the Ventra app or online, protects balances if cards are lost or stolen, allows for the setup of auto-load of unlimited-ride passes or transit value, provides account notifications and more.
- If you’ve already registered your Ventra card but have moved since 2013, be sure that Ventra has your current address by logging into your account on ventrachicago.com, via the Ventra app or by calling customer service at (877) 669-8368.
- Because customers who do not register their Ventra cards will lose unused balances on their account once the card expires, CTA strongly recommends customers to register their cards ahead of time.
Ventra prepaid debit to be discontinued
The new Ventra cards will no longer offer the prepaid debit account feature that was an option when the system launched in 2013. After analyzing customer preferences and habits, CTA determined that there wasn’t significant demand for this feature in part because of the numerous prepaid debit products in the marketplace and electronic payment options like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which have become more accessible and provide consumers with increased financial options, including the ability to pay their Ventra fares.
The prepaid debit functionality will cease to be available as of Dec. 31, 2017. Customers who have opened prepaid debit accounts as a part of their Ventra accounts are being offered the ability to transfer funds to new prepaid debit cards offered by Money Network, which has administered the prepaid debit feature for Ventra. Customers can spend down their prepaid balances, transfer their funds to a new prepaid debit card or have their funds returned to them via check from Money Network.
For more information about the new Ventra cards and card expiration, visit ventrachicago.com/expires.
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