Chicago to launch contactless fare system in August

Posted on June 27, 2013

Select Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace customers will begin using the new Ventra fare payment system, which allows customers to use a single fare card for transit throughout the Chicago region, in August 2013, with a full public rollout following a few weeks later in September, officials announced.

Ventra, which replaces CTA and Pace’s existing, nearly 20-year-old fare-payment system, offers transit customers the convenience and flexibility of a modern fare payment system, including faster boarding, account management and value protection. With Ventra, customers can use a Ventra Card, Ventra Ticket or their own contactless bankcard to pay for CTA and Pace rides by loading transit value and passes. 

A simple “tap” of a contactless card will allow customers to quickly board CTA buses and trains as well as Pace buses. Ventra has no fees for daily transit use and CTA and Pace fares will remain the same. Cash will still be accepted on buses.

“We’ve spent nearly two years building and testing this innovative system and are eager for customers to begin integrating Ventra into their daily lives,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “In advance of this transition, the CTA and Pace are continuing to educate the Chicago region on this new way to pay for public transit.”

Upon launch, Ventra will be the nation’s largest transit open fare payment system and will eventually include a network with more than three times the current number in the region, expected at around 2,000.

RELATED: "Passengers Seek More Ways to Pay Fares."

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