Since I wrote Moving to CTA Ventra card: What you need to know on Monday, I have heard from a few seniors with reduced fare cards wondering about their transition to the new Ventra payment system. Here’s what I found in the Ventra FAQ (a very helpful document). It applies to all users of reduced fare cards.
What will happen to reduced-fare cards?
Eligible CTA and Pace customers, including students, seniors and people with disabilities, will continue to receive a reduced fare. Reduced fare customers will be mailed a new hard-plastic permit beginning in September. The permit will be combined with the fare card and will be more durable and easier to use than the existing magnetic stripe cards. These versions will be for transit use only and will not have a Prepaid Debit Account option.
So, I hope that answers that question. Meanwhile, here are some more facts and tidbits about Ventra.
Ventra machines replacing Express Vending Machines. To make room for the new machines, the CTA says it is gradually replacing with new Ventra machines the limited number of Express Vending Machines (located in 29 stations) and the 22 Visitor Pass Machines at stations that get more tourists, such as Grand Red Line and O’Hare Blue Line.
Guide to transition milestone published. The CTA has posted a helpful guide that gives info on key transition milestones to Ventra to help customers plan.
When is Ventra available to everyone and where do I get it?
- Everyone can buy/use Ventra Sept. 9
- Customers can buy cards at machines at CTA stations and retailers on Sept. 9
- Ventra cards can be pre-ordered now at ventrachicago.com
- Customers can order cards by phone starting Sept. 9 by calling (877) NOW VENTRA.
- CTA and Pace customers this fall will be able to transfer balances from current fare cards to registered Ventra cards. Locations and dates are listed here.
More than a million taps already. Current Ventra card users have already made more than a million taps on Ventra card readers.
Up to seven rides at once. CTA customers will be able to do passbacks on the Ventra card. You can pay for up to seven rides at once with one Ventra card.
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