Latest initiative aims to make travel on the region’s public transit systems easier and more convenient with fully integrated passes for CTA and Pace riders
In the latest effort to make travel on the region’s transit systems more seamless, today the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace Suburban Bus announced plans to offer streamlined and integrated 1-Day, 3-Day, 7-Day, and 30-Day unlimited-ride passes that can be use on both transit systems.
“CTA has made strides since 2021 to make our fares ultra-affordable and we want to expand those benefits to our riders who also use Pace. Now more than ever, we are working to strengthen ridership and find innovative ways to make taking public transit the first choice for travel across the region,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This initiative is just another step for us to adapt to our riders’ needs by making travel on one or all of our transit systems even more convenient, affordable and seamless.”
Beginning in early 2023, CTA’s 1 and 3-Day passes will be valid for use on Pace. Additionally, the agency will combine its two seven day passes into one offering valid on both agencies at $20, allowing for seamless interconnectivity between the two transit systems. Pricing for the passes will reflect CTA’s recently lowered pricing, which has proven to be successful in attracting additional riders beyond the work-week commute.
The four shared passes will maintain current pass pricing: 1-Day ($5), 3-Day ($15), 7-Day ($20) and 30-Day ($75). This will result in removal of the $5 surcharge on the current shared 7-Day Pass with Pace. CTA and Pace will inform riders on the effective date closer to implementation.
“Our world has changed, and Pace is changing with it. From fare reductions to new and innovative service options, Pace is making public transportation more affordable and easier to use for the people we serve. We’re thrilled to partner with the CTA on these changes which will open more doors to employment, education, and essential services throughout our region,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda Metzger.
This change in fare passes is the latest step by the regional transit Service Boards to adjust to changing ridership demand and patterns through regional fare and service coordination and by creating a more seamless transit experience.
Earlier this year, the new Regional Connect Pass was introduced, which when coupled with Metra’s new “Super Saver” monthly pass, provides Chicago area residents unlimited rides on all three systems – at a reduced cost and with greater flexibility. Last year, the CTA lowered the cost of all its unlimited-ride passes and made transfers between CTA services free. Pace joined CTA to lower fares on shared, unlimited-ride passes, implemented a reduced fare structure for part-time users of their Vanpool Program, and will eliminate or reduce transfer costs between Pace services in early 2023.
The Chicago Transit Board approved two intergovernmental agreements between CTA and Pace today, and the Pace Board will vote on the measure December 21st. These agreements expand the relationship between the two agencies to accept additional passes on each other’s systems as well as streamline the revenue share for the passes based on shared pass ridership on each system. The agencies will begin testing and development to the Ventra fare payment system to implement this change in early 2023.