An update to the Ventra App that was released for Android users, which will be released for Apple users within the next few days, will no longer allow customers to buy Metra mobile tickets without creating a Ventra account, an option used by less than 1% of app users.
Creating an account allows users to take full advantage of the app’s features while at the same time protecting tickets if a customer’s phone is lost, stolen, damaged, or replaced. While so-called anonymous purchases represent less than 1% of app purchases, they are the source of the majority of calls to Ventra’s helpline — and frequently their issues cannot be resolved without an account. That is why that option is being eliminated.
Users who purchased tickets without an account will not lose those tickets under this update (unless they delete the app and reinstall it). However, under an update coming early next year, tickets purchased anonymously will not be transferable to the new version, and customers will need to use those tickets before updating the app.
With an account, users can store credit or debit cards, including pre-tax transit benefits debit cards, so they don’t have to enter the information every time they buy a mobile ticket. They can also split their payment between two cards — handy for those who use a pre-tax transit benefits debit card that does not fully cover the cost of a Monthly Pass. If a customer has a Ventra card, creating an account allows them to check the card’s balance, add value, add passes, and get account notifications.
If a phone is lost, stolen, damaged or replaced, Ventra and Metra can use the user’s account information to restore any tickets that were lost — something that is not possible for anonymous purchases.