March 17, 2014

Chicago transit agencies will complete Ventra transition by July

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace will complete the transition to its Ventra open contactless fare payment system by July 1.

Currently, 81% of CTA customers and nearly 60% of Pace customers are using Ventra, with more than 1.5 million Ventra transit accounts currently active.

The transition calendar has three phases:

  • May 1—Customers can no longer buy magnetic stripe cards or autoload/reload Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus.
  • June 1—Customers can no longer reload magnetic stripe cards or use Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus.
  • July 1—Customers can no longer use magnetic stripe cards. Pace customers paying with cash will no longer be issued a Transfer Card. All customers will be transitioned to Ventra.

CTA, Pace and Cubic Transportation Systems have made several improvements to the system, from software upgrades to improvements to the Ventra call center. 

Later this spring, customers who wish to transfer unused balances on Chicago Card and magnetic stripe fare cards will have the option of mailing in their old cards and having any unused balance transferred to their registered Ventra Card. This will exclude unlimited-ride 1-day, 3-day, 7-day and 30-day pass products, which must be used up in advance of the full transition. The CTA will provide more details about the mail-in option later this spring.

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