Regional Transportation Authority

 

 

All customers enrolled in RTA’s Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit  programs before February 15th, 2014 should have received a new permit for use with the Ventra system on CTA and Pace. If you have not received your new permit, please call 312-913-3110 immediately.

 

If you have received your permit please

activate it by calling 1-877-450-5328.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace recently announced the transit systems will complete the transition to the new Ventra fare payment system by July 1. The transition calendar has three phases that will impact customers enrolled in RTA’s  Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit  programs:

  • May 1— RTA Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit customers can no longer reload old Smartcard permits.
  • June 1— RTA Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit customers can no longer reload magnetic stripe permits.  RTA Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit customer can no longer use old Smartcard permits on CTA and Pace.
  • July 1— RTA Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit customers can no longer use magnetic stripe permits on CTA, Metra and Pace. Pace customers paying with cash will no longer be issued a Reduced Fare Transfer Card. All customers will be transitioned to Ventra.

To assist customers who still need to transition, Ventra will host a number of balance transfer events throughout the city over the next three months. At these events, customers can transfer balances from valid Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit magnetic stripe permits and old Smartcard permits, activate and register their new Ventra permits, and have their questions answered.  

Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit permit holders must bring in their Ventra permit for balance transfer.  Balance transfer customers may bring a maximum of five eligible fare media cards with a combined minimum of $5 in transit value. Fare media that is eligible for balance transfers includes CTA and Pace stored value magnetic stripe full-fare and reduced-fare cards and Chicago Cards. Unlimited ride 1-day, 3-day, 7-day and 30-day passes, reduced fare passes, and passes sold in bulk or any expired fare media cannot be transferred to Ventra permits and must be used up.

For more information and a list of Balance Transfer Events click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my new Ventra Reduced Fare, Ride Free or ADA Paratransit permit?

All customers enrolled in RTA’s Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit  programs before February 15th, 2014 should have received a new permit for use with the Ventra system on CTA and Pace. If you have not received your new permit, please call 312-913-3110 immediately.

 

How do I activate my new permit?

You need to activate your new permit by calling 1-877-450-5328 before using it on CTA and Pace. You will need to provide the card number and card expiration date located on the back of the card, as well as your birthday, when activating your permit. If you need assistance with activating your permit call the activation number and press ‘0’.

Can I still use my magnetic stripe Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit permit to board CTA and Pace buses and trains?

Yes. You should continue to use your current permit until your balance is zero. You can also use your new Ventra permit to pay your transit fares. CTA and Pace have released the following calendar of important dates for transitioning to Ventra:

  • May 1— RTA Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit customers can no longer reload old Smartcard permits.
  • June 1— RTA Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit customers can no longer reload magnetic stripe permits.  RTA Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit customer can no longer use old Smartcard permits on CTA and Pace.
  • July 1— RTA Reduced Fare, Ride Free and ADA Paratransit customers can no longer use magnetic stripe permits on CTA, Metra and Pace. Pace customers paying with cash will no longer be issued a Reduced Fare Transfer Card. All customers will be transitioned to Ventra.

Cash will continue to be accepted on CTA and Pace buses and Metra trains.

How do I transfer my balance from my current permit to my new permit?

To assist customers who still need to transition, Ventra will host a number of balance transfer events throughout the city over the next three months. At these events, customers can transfer balances from valid Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit magnetic stripe permits and old Smartcard permits, activate and register their new Ventra permits, and have their questions answered.  

Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit permit holders must bring both their magnetic stripe permit and their Ventra permit for balance transfer.  Customers may bring a maximum of five eligible fare media cards with a combined minimum of $5 in transit value. Fare media that is eligible for balance transfers includes CTA and Pace stored value magnetic stripe full-fare and reduced-fare cards, as well as RTA-issued Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit permits. Unlimited ride reduced fare 30-Day passes or expired Reduced Fare and ADA Paratransit permits cannot be transferred to Ventra permits and must be used up.

For more information and a list of Balance Transfer Events click here.

What is Ventra™?

Ventra™ is the CTA’s and Pace’s new fare payment system that will make it faster and easier to access transit throughout the region. Ventra was developed by the CTA and Pace to unify their payment systems.

How do I use Ventra on CTA and Pace trains and buses?

After you activate your new permit you can add CTA and Pace transit passes, like a 30-day reduced fare pass, and transit value (incremental dollar amounts) to your Transit Account. Once you have added a transit pass or transit value, you simply “tap” your new permit to board CTA and Pace trains and buses.

What is a Transit Account?

A Transit Account is a secure individual account that can be registered to your permit. You can add transit passes, such as the 30-day reduced fare pass, and transit value to your Transit Account to pay for rides on the CTA and Pace.

Where can I be purchase transit passes and add transit value to my Transit Account?

You can purchase transit passes and add value in a variety of places, including online at www.ventrachicago.com, over the phone at 1-877-NOW-VENTRA (1-877-669-8368), at participating Ventra Retail Locations and Ventra vending machines at CTA rail stations.

How can I manage my Transit Account?

You can manage your Transit Account, view transit balances and add transit passes and value online with a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also manage your Transit Account over the phone, at participating Ventra Retail Locations and Ventra vending machines at CTA rail stations. When you activate your new permit you can obtain a username, password and account access code. You can have your username, password and account access code mailed to you and also provided to you over the phone. If you have already activated your permit and did not get your username, password and account access code during the activation process you will need to call 1-877-NOW-VENTRA (1-877-669-8368).

How do I pay my fares for Metra?

You use your new permit for program verification on Metra just as you do today. When purchasing a reduced fare monthly, 10-ride or one-way ticket at a Metra station you must present your Reduced Fare Permit to the Metra ticket agent. When purchasing a reduced fare ticket on-board a Metra train you must present your Reduced Fare permit to the Metra conductor. There is a $3.00 surcharge if you purchase a one-way ticket on-board the train when a ticket agent is on duty at the station where you boarded. Ride Free customers simply present their Ride Free permit to the Metra conductor on-board a Metra train.

Can I pay my fare on Pace ADA Paratransit Service using my new permit?

No. You must continue to pay your ADA Paratransit fare using cash or Pace ADA One Ride tickets. You will be able to use your new permits to pay for your rides on ADA Paratransit vehicles at a later date.

Does the new Ventra system cost me more money?

No. CTA, Pace and Metra continue to have full control over their fare policies, and there are no fare increases associated with the move to Ventra. If you go 18 consecutive months without using your Transit Account you will be subject to a $5.00 dormancy fee deducted from your stored transit value each month. Just one CTA or Pace ride will reset the dormancy timeframe. You will not be charged the dormancy fee if there is no transit value in your account.

How can I get more information?

You can receive more information about the transition to Ventra™ at www.ventrachicago.com or www.rtachicago.org or by calling RTA’s Customer Service Center at 312-913-3110.

 
 

Metra Weekend Pass

Copyright © 2014 Regional Transportation Authority.  All Rights Reserved.