How to replace expiring Ventra military service passes

Disabled veterans and active duty military personnel have to pull together pertinent documentation to replace expiring Ventra passes for free rides.

cta_Ventra_mil_passAll cards issued before August 2015 must be renewed by Dec. 1. To assist those with expiring cards, the CTA is hosting multiple renewal events beginning in October through early December.

Nearly 11,000 active duty military personnel and disabled veterans are enrolled in the free rides program. Free replacement cards will be issued on-site to current MSP card holders with the proper credentials at the following events in Chicago between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (all locations):

James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph St.
Auditorium — Concourse Level
DATES: October 6, 7, 14, 15 and November 12

Jesse Brown VA Medical Center
820 S. Damen Ave. Room 2446
DATES: October 12 and November 23

CTA Headquarters
567 West Lake St.
2nd Floor, Rooms A, B and C
Chicago, IL 60661
DATE: December 2

In order to receive a replacement card on-site at these events, active military personnel and disabled veterans will need to bring the following credentials:

  1. Current Ventra Military Service Pass
  2. Valid state ID card
  3. Either a valid Armed Forces ID card (for active duty personnel) or an official letter from the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs (USDVA) indicating service-connected disability compensation of 10% or greater; or indicating you are receiving military disability retirement pay in lieu of USDVA compensation at a rate of 10% or greater. Proof of compensation must be dated within the last 12 months.

To me, this seems like a lot of hoops to make these disabled veterans jump. Makes me wonder if there is a lot of fraud.

The Military Service Pass program began in 2008, following passage of a Chicago City Council Ordinance establishing free rides on CTA buses and trains for anyone on active duty and in uniform as well as disabled veterans. If you are on active duty but not in uniform, your MSP must be presented in order to ride for free. Actively drilling National Guard or Army Reserves members also qualify and will need their Armed Forces ID card.

Get more information on the Ventra military pass at the CTA's website.


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  • "Hoops" is correct. A disabled vet from West Pullman or Norwood Park has to go downtown, and on particular dates. They just couldn't have multiple events in various neighborhoods. This smells like CTA is trying to get out of the mandate in a way that disrespects the vets,

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