Tribune: CTA completes switch to Ventra today
So the day of reckoning has arrived, the transition to the Ventra system is now complete:
Old transit fare cards won’t buy rides on the CTA and Pace starting today with the completion of a sometimes grueling 10-month transition to the new Ventra fare-collection system.

Starting Tuesday, bus customers will be required to pay fares with Ventra cards, cash or contactless credit or debit cards with radio frequency identification technology.

The same rules apply to CTA rail customers, except cash-payers will need to buy a single-ride disposable ticket, which instead of costing the $2.25 regular fare will be priced at $3 and include a two-ride transfer, regardless of whether the rider needs to transfer.
For procrastinators and others who haven’t made the switch to the new fare system, Ventra cards are available at vending machines inside CTA rail stations, at many retail locations in Chicago and the suburbs, online at and by calling (877) 669-8368.

The $5 new-card fee will be waived until July 7 at the retail locations and for online and phone orders. Ventra cards issued at vending machines in CTA rail stations require a $5 fee, which is credited toward transit value if the card is registered.

Riders with old transit cards can transfer balances to Ventra cards through Sept. 1, officials said. Mail-in forms are available at

CTA fare cards eligible for mail-in balance transfers include unused magnetic stripe 30-day unlimited ride period passes and stored-value fare cards, including magnetic stripe fare cards, Chicago Cards and permits loaded at vending machines. The combined transit value on the cards must be at least $5 and there is an 8-card limit per customer.


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